The Biden administration wants to use the carrot (such as sanctions relief) to persuade the Taliban not to implement Islamic law. Trump obligated the United States to begin the process of removing sanctions, but Biden will now use the threat of sanctions as leverage on the Taliban after the US pulls out in an effort to protect women’s rights.
In the long term, there is almost no doubt that the Taliban will either become part of the Afghan government or fully control the country. How the United States will respond is unclear.
In a paper published last month by the United States Institute of Peace, prior to Mr. Biden’s announcement, Mr. Rubin asserted that America “overestimated the role of military pressure or the military presence and underestimated the influence that the Taliban sought to relieve and recognize sanctions and provide international assistance.”
Mr. Rubin added that the agreement signed by Taliban leaders with the Trump administration in February 2020 obligated Washington to begin the process of lifting US and UN sanctions on the group, including some of those sanctions targeting its individual leaders. It also included a guarantee that the United States “will seek economic cooperation for reconstruction with the new Afghan Islamic government after the settlement.”