However, experts point out that the agreement between the government of U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Taliban leaders is only the first step toward a lasting peace. The biggest challenge, they say, will be negotiating an agreement between the Islamist fundamentalist group and the Afghan government on the future of Afghanistan. Many Afghans, exhausted by a war that has killed thousands of people and forced millions to flee, fear that a U.S. withdrawal could trigger new conflicts and ultimately allow the Taliban to regain control. Editor`s Note: Negotiations between the United States and the Taliban offer the possibility of a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, but many details of the agreement remain difficult to grasp. Carter Malkasian, a former senior adviser to the president of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, identifies several risks related to conditionality and intra-Afghan negotiations and outlines the resulting complications for U.S. policy. Ideological differences have created problems, especially with regard to human rights. The 2004 Afghan Constitution protects women`s rights, such as language and education, as well as freedom of the press, including freedom of expression, both oppressed under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Khalilzad, Ghani, Abdullah and several other senior Afghan officials all said that these rights should be protected   and not sacrificed in a peace agreement.
 Afghanistan`s first lady, Rula Ghani, is committed to protecting women`s rights.  Afghan journalists have called for the press to be protected in all possible peace agreements.  “The agreement expressly invites the Taliban to engage with other Afghans in intra-Afghan negotiations, where they will discuss the modalities and timing of a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire,” said a Foreign Ministry official. “There`s a lot of mistrust, decades of fighting, so it`s not going to be easy.” In February 2019, a new round of talks took place in Qatar, this time with Baradar in the Taliban delegation – he had been released by Pakistan in October 2018 at the request of the United States.   Khalilzad stated that this round of negotiations was “more productive than in the past” and that a draft peace agreement had been concluded. The agreement included the withdrawal of U.S. and international troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban, which did not allow other jihadist groups to operate inside the country.  The Taliban also announced progress in the negotiations.
 The problem is that verbal conditionality is ripe for mixed signals. In fact, the American public itself cannot be sure what these statements actually mean. Are they carefully formulated red lines or diplomatic nudges that are not imposed? Since the government was not prepared to devote time to including all its demands in the text, the Taliban could verbally see all this as a bluff.