WHITE FLAGS: ON THE RETURN OF THE AFGHAN TALIBAN AND THE FATE OF AFGHANISTAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Afghan Taliban appear to be on the verge of reconstituting the so-called Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan proto-state that was toppled in late 2001 by U.S., coalition and indigenous forces. A series of factors indicate that the Afghan government could implode from within or be swiftly overthrown by the Afghan Taliban unless the United States continuously reinforces Kabul with ample political-military aid. In addition, any future U.S.-led military reengagement would likely amount to a replay of the events of late 2001 or worse, thereby prolonging the war. Lastly, there is little reason to expect that the Afghan Taliban leadership will temper its ideological aspirations, sever ties with designated terrorist groups, or moderate its governing style in return for international recognition or under threat of punitive repercussions. As such, how the United States manages its anticipated withdrawal in the coming months will have major ramifications, and America should prepare for the possibility of an historical recurrence of the collapse of the Afghan government reminiscent of the downfall of the Soviet-sponsored Communist regime in 1992.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAsian Affairs
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Afghan Taliban
  • Afghanistan
  • Fragile States
  • ISIL
  • ISIS
  • Soviet-Afghan War

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law

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