102

Corruption is rampant in Afghanistan, including in the military. They routinely take bribes and sell military equipment to the Taliban. Basically, the average ANA soldier is there just to collect a paycheck, either legally or illegally. Combine that with the US withdrawal, and the fact that the Taliban is not being anywhere near as brutal as expected, and ...


79

One reason is that China is investing a significant amount in trying to build a land corridor through Pakistan to access ports in the Indian ocean as part of their belt and road initiative. China is heavily dependent on trade, and the majority of that trade goes by sea. One of China's geopolitical imperatives is to be able to secure those trade routes. One ...


78

There are multiple reasons behind this (in addition to the corruption of the Afghanistan government). Firstly, the Taliban is not some foreign movement that tried to gain a foothold in Afghanistan, it is a quasi-grassroots organization formed heavily from the Pashtun areas (one of the main ethnic groups). Before the Taliban formed, Afghanistan was run by ...


77

This article in the Guardian today answers precisely this question: It is a tale of two armies, one poorly equipped but highly motivated ideologically, and the other nominally well-equipped, but dependent on Nato support, poorly led and riddled with corruption. The article emphasizes how the strength of the Afghan army was overestimated by the US: It ...


74

Here are two main reasons. Firstly, Taliban wants to seek international recognition and not govern as a pariah. Gaining international recognition may potentially lead to the lifting of sanctions, bringing economic benefits. From The New York Times: They need to persuade foreign powers to send aid and lift sanctions if they are to reconstitute the bare ...


71

TL;DR: The Taliban has lasted for so long because it has a durable organizational structure and safe haven in Pakistan. Undercutting the Taliban is more complicated than rooting out its network of poppy cultivation. Yes, the sudden removal of its drug funds would likely hurt the group, but the organizational structures, recruitment networks, and other ...


60

The Taliban are not just a drug-running organization, not even predominantly a drug-running organization. The US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan because the Afghan government at the time sheltered terrorists. For all the cost of the longest war, it never did spend enough effort to really reconstruct Afghanistan. Instead it went to Iraq, and elsewhere. The ...


57

That's literally the last thing a rational Taliban decision maker would want to do. 20 years after getting kicked out the Taliban are back in power. They did just fine oppressing Afghans from 1994 to 2001, even as the international community condemned their behavior. In August 2001, if anyone had told me the US would invade Afghanistan and end Taliban rule,...


50

The question assumes that the US invaded Afghanistan solely to punish Al-Qaeda and its leader Osama Bin Laden. While this was indeed the main motivation, there are also some complex political reasons at play. Context of the invasion The 9/11 attacks were a major trauma for the US. In terms of both domestic and foreign politics, it called for a strong answer....


50

Some of the equipment was a bit more sophisticated than the "small arms" mentioned in the William Walker III's answer. I think that's also what the article in the question is referring to. Much of that equipment wasn't left by accident, it was given by the Americans to the Afghan forces, for them to work with. For example, one article in the ...


48

TLDR: It would be grossly unfair to think that the NATO and US military did not try their very best to win this. Many soldiers paid a very high price and are now justifiably very distressed. Pretty certain however is that the US and NATO governments were careless and overconfident when they engaged in yet another hard-to-win guerilla war. For 20 years, ...


47

It's a little disingenuous to say they're not concerned about it, as much as it is to use 'the media' to describe a highly textured and diverse industrial sector. That said, the status of women in Saudi Arabia is well documented, frequently discussed, and that history in addition to the fact that Saudi Arabia is a foreign policy ally of the United States (...


45

Because they were ordered to. Having been deployed I can tell you it takes time to pack everything up and ship it out, especially when there is no sea port to move massive amounts of equipment. It's not just throwing it into a container, you have to pack and secure it properly to prevent damage, you have to abide by environmental laws and regulations, ...


39

Fact is, the new Taliban government is there to stay. Both the Russians and NATO took their shots at trying to keep Afghanistan under control. Both gave up eventually. Now the Chinese want to have their turn. But the Chinese tool of choice for exerting control over foreign countries isn't the gun, it's the shipping container. The new state of Afghanistan ...


39

This Q is pretty narrow in its title, but then asks more generally My question is really whether it is just that - that local officials make whatever decisions they think most aligns with their understanding of the religion or whether there are, or whether there are plans to establish, specific laws on various mundane subjects to guide their citizens in ...


37

Depending on the exact nature of the information you're after, the relevant body is most likely to be the Ministry of Defence, or failing that, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. However, when making your request, note Part II of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which lists information exempt from FoI requests - particularly sections 23; ...


37

According to western moral values, the two examples are not similar. There is the belief in many western countries that certain clothing is degrading for people who have to wear it, specifically the niqab. As mentioned by Italian Philosophers 4 Monica, there is a difference between a hijab and a niqab. The difference may be lost in translation when such ...


34

TLDR: Persecute civilians locally Attack civilians in Western countries Military operations Can be engageddiplomatically Taliban ✔✔ (1994-2001)2021+: ??? allowed Al Qaeda operationsleading to 9/11 ✔✔✔ up to 2001: somewhat2016-present: Trump, Biden2021+: ? Al Qaeda N/A ✔✔✔ no ISIS ✔✔✔ ✔✔✔ ✔✔ (not very capable against hard opponents) no ISIS and Al-Qaeda ...


34

This question is starting out from a false assumption, that the media does not regularly cover, mostly in a negative fashion, events in Saudi Arabia concerning both sharia and its treatment of women. Those of us who follow international news closely have all read of articles about the subject, ranging from driving restrictions, to chaperone enforcement , to ...


33

You implicitly assume that both: The Taliban could successfully overrun the Kabul airport The Taliban believe they could overrun the airport, to a high degree of confidence The Taliban have excelled at irregular warfare, and in conflict with the US they have been careful to fight where they are strong: they use ambushes, IEDs, and so-called "green-on-...


31

Between 2000-2017, China was not very active in Afghanistan. China did not contribute troops to fight the Taliban, though it did provide several hundred million dollars of foreign aid to the Afghan government. During this time, Chinese companies also made several significant investments in Afghanistan's mineral and energy industries. However, as argued here, ...


31

Are there any reliable indications on popular sentiment in Afghanistan for/against the Taliban? The sentiment is largely against the Taliban. From Bloomberg, The World Told Afghan Women It Had Their Backs — It Doesn’t, August 9, 2021. [Emboldening added.] Along with women’s rights, democracy is perishing. It is clear the Taliban cannot win Afghanistan at ...


25

Really? they could get revenge, They don't need revenge, they need to rule (i.e. money and power) they could catch prisoners/hostages, Short-term benefit with long term risks. they could "liberate" the airport, The airport liberates itself at a good rate. They may as well fail spectacularily. they could prevent yet more people from fleeing, ...


24

There is no point in discussing whether an organisation is a terrorist group. The only possible answer that I can give is is it classified as a terrorist group. And since you tag "united-states", I will look at terrorist groups as classified by the USA. The question has been edited somewhat since I answered it, but I'll let this answer stand. ...


23

No, they don't have an official legal code yet. Yes, they have plans to create some kind of a legislative body and write laws after forming the government. Yes, they already have written statutes, but those need to be formalized. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid answered some question about their future laws in the first press conference in Kabul: Let’s ...


21

You can judge the answer by the reality on the ground. As of right now [mo: 11AUG21],the only areas remaining under the control of the puppet regime are basically some districts near Kabul, plus the Hazarajat. This is not at all surprising to anyone who has any basic knowledge of Afghanistan. The entire North has now fallen to the Talibs, save for Mazar-i-...


21

A scathing take, answering the question, or at least going to the origins of the protracted military action, can be found in this 20-year retrospective piece (and rant), entitled "Was There A Plan In Afghanistan?" by John Dolan, better known as War Nerd. Note that it was published well before last week's events. No endorsement of the site linked ...


21

One would think that if the US military were to leave Afghanistan, they would surely take any equipment that might fall into the wrong hands... One would be naive to think this. Nearly every time the United States has withdraw from a military deployment, large amounts of weapons and other materiel are left behind - some captured, much of it US issue. This ...


20

Not sure this counts as a full answer, but here goes. The Afghanistan quagmire was probably largely unintentional, just like the Iraqi one. If you read up on the level of group thinking and hubris under the Bush administration circa 2001-03, it is pretty amazing in its naivety. I read a number of these books, mostly about Iraq though. These people truly ...


19

One it's face both laws seem similar -- requirements on what women can wear. But when examined there are many differences: The French law allows women a great range in clothing, whereas the Afghan law much more strongly limits free choice -- no exposed skin or hair except a small part of the face. Part of the French ban (the 2004 "school headscarf ban&...


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