Sunday 15 August 2021

What Next for the Taliban?

"The Taliban will be in Kabul within weeks!" So went the media punditry on Friday just gone. And just a mere two days later the Afghan government has completely dissolved, the United States are evacuating personnel in scenes reminiscent of the embassy airlift from Saigon in 1975, and the Taliban are back in charge. 20 years of blood and treasure wasted for the situation to wind up where it began. To be sure, the rapid collapse of the client government and the humiliation of the Western powers underlines the bankruptcy of "humanitarian intervention". A point lost on sundry Tories and hand wringing centrists doing the rounds and attacking the withdrawal of military support. They have learned nothing.

None of this soft soaps the Taliban. This might be Taliban 2.0, one savvier when it comes to diplomacy and cutting deals with regional powers, not executing Western journalists and allowing aid agencies to stay, but their extreme gynophobia and suppression of select aspects of modernity remains. What happens next? In this discussion between Alex and Paul Rogers of Bradford University's Peace Studies department, Paul explores the difficulties the American-led coalition faced, the division in their foreign policy establishment, the stupidity of the occupation authorities, and how the Central Asian great game is going to play out between Pakistan, India, and China as well as the US. Events have unfolded rapidly since this was uploaded yesterday, but the analysis underpinning it is a must listen.

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1 comment:

BCFG said...

You don’t usually comment on imperialist affairs, I mean are you even aware of Assange?

But anyway, this is a wonderful day for the people of Afghanistan, assuming the beast isn’t planning to return. I am certainly not sold on the idea that the empire is falling. If only that were true!