TL;DR (4-minute read)
- The tragic suicide bombing at the Kabul airport in the final days of the Afghan airlift which killed 13 U.S. troops and 60 Afghans has sent shockwaves throughout America and has left many across the world wondering what the future holds for Afghanistan as well as for the foreign affairs regarding the new Taliban government.
- Humanitarian efforts are in full force from just about every corner of the world as nations wait to see the construction of the new government before making any moves in terms of diplomacy or retaliation, with the violence shown at the airport as well as the suppression of women’s rights protests.
- As people from around the world witness the Taliban’s sudden takeover of Kabul, one question will continue to swirl around their heads; whether the United States’ decision to withdraw from Afghanistan will make the future of Afghanistan better or worse, and it will take quite a bit of time to find the answer, as is the case with any foreign policy decision.
After the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the prompt takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the world was on the fence about what this new regime would bring and what differences would be found between the 2000s and the present-day Taliban. Even though the new regime vowed to maintain a more modern approach to their government, the events of the past few days have shattered any hope of a more conciliatory Taliban. With the recent suicide bombings carried out by the Afghanistan branch of ISIS on the Kabul airport which resulted in 13 U.S. troop lives lost, Americans and people all over the world are left dumbstruck as to the future of Afghanistan. This attack is confirmed to be the deadliest attack on the US on Afghanistan soil since 2011, to put the entire event into perspective. This brings up uncertainties as to where Afghanistan will go from here, and what effects this attack will have on neighboring countries as well as the global superpowers.
One of the main questions brought up is how the new Taliban government will be structured and where some of their most extreme hardliners will be placed. The Taliban has explicitly mentioned that it will not involve anyone who is non-Taliban or a part of the former administration under estranged leader Ashraf Ghani. Basic structures have already been decided, including the core group of 12 Taliban leaders who will retain a majority of the power in their newly formed government. It will be very beneficial for the rest of the world to know the complete structure and placement of specific government officials such as Khalil Haqqani and Abdul Ghani Baradar, two Taliban officials who have wanted to harken back to the early Taliban regime.
Another question remains: what the rest of the world will do for the Afghans that seek refuge as well as help under the new and more restrictive government? The situation in terms of the government is not at all optimistic, with an economy spiraling downwards and ensuing civil unrest, namely the suppression of the women’s protest. It appears the Taliban will not resist in the wake of Afghan aid so as to not deter any potential international attention as they seek to operate on a more global platform. In fact, they may encourage aid as a stepping stone for holding talks and discussions with other nations to garner further publicity and attention.
As for the penultimate question of what the future holds for a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, the overall situation does not appear to be optimistic, to say the least. The suicide bombings and suppression of protests are bad omens and could someday be inextricably linked to the beginning of a period of chaos and civil unrest within Afghanistan. For now, the world waits and watches, with the U.S. and major European nations lending humanitarian aid amidst a tragic bombing that is bound to hit home and dredge up lamentations regarding America’s decision to leave in the first place.