Monday, June 24, 2024

Why the Taliban Won

Author: Vanda Felbab-Brown

Affiliation: Brookings Institute (Director of the Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors)

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place: August 17, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 2134 


Keywords: Taliban, Afghanistan, USA


The writer talks about the circumstances that helped the Taliban defeat the Afghan army and the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. There were signs that the Taliban was on the rise militarily and that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) had severe shortcomings that the Afghan government had ignored since 2015.  It is no secret that for years, ANDSF units were friendly with and “warning the Taliban of forthcoming offenses” and refusing to fight them. The writer believes that although the US and other countries committed many mistakes in Afghanistan, responsibility ultimately rests with the Afghan government. Corruption was rampant within the Afghan government, making it difficult for the people to trust the government. If the Americans stayed in the country for a more extended period, there would be a full-blown war between the US and the Taliban, so the American forces had to withdraw. The most urgent priority now is to engage in tough diplomacy and bargain with the Taliban. The writer believes that the final result that Afghanistan reached was not the expected image of the United States of America. Today, the Taliban has power and control, while the United States lost 2,400 Americans and 1 trillion dollars.

By: Taqwa Abu Kmeil, CIGA Research Assistant



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