Taliban Takeover

Summary of events

Ever since the Russian Federation was overthrown in 1989, Afghanistan has been a battle ground. A definition of a failed state, Afghanistan was in a state of Anarchy. Rule of law was nonexistent, warlords and tribes waged war on each other to rule one another, and without terms nor adherence to any form of human rights. For five long years the situation was desperate.

In 1994, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, or as they are better known, the Taliban, brought forward their religious-political movement, abiding by a strict and harsh form Sharia Islam law. Being a military organisation as well, the Taliban started conquering regions of Afghanistan, until they claimed Kabul and victory in 1996. What followed consisted of a harsh application of Sharia law, such as the stoning of adulterers, public executions and the oppression of women, among others.

This itself did not result in the intervention of allied forces, but rather that which occured on the 11th of September 2001, or as it is better known, 9/11. Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the terrorist group Al Qaed, was known to have been seeking refuge in Afghanistan amongst the Taliban. Upon refusing to turn Bin Laden over to the US, the Taliban were quickly expunged from Kabul by allied forces, including the U S and NATO, and exiled from Afghanistan.

For the next 20 years, up to the latter stages of last year, American and allied forces fought side by side with Afghan national soldiers, to repel Taliban forces from provinces across Afghanistan. The forces of the West sought to democratise Afghanistan, and a government was soon formed. A constitution was written up and human rights were no longer a distant reality for Afghan citizens. Women had access to education and employment, and were free from the various oppressions they faced under the Taliban. The US invested almost 2 trillion USD in infrastructure, and in producing a military capable of defending the interests of Afghanistan and its people. How did that lead to present events?

In early 2020, President Trump struck a deal with the Taliban, which consisted of the US and all allied forces to withdraw themselves from Afghanistan in 14 months (April 2021). The deal also stated that the Taliban would have to cease violence, and not allow any terrorist groups to function in the provinces which they control. As the number of allied forces decreased, the Taliban quickly gained momentum, and claimed provinces at an increasing rate. Earlier this month, the Taliban had claimed Afghanistan’s second and third largest provinces, and surrounded the capital, Kabul.

The investment in Afghanistan’s military proved futile, as even though Afghan forces outnumbered Taliban fighters four to one, the Taliban met little to no resistance. The cherry on the cake was the President’s escape, shortly followed by Taliban forces storming and claiming the Presidential Palace. As