Any gardener will tell you that if you prune back a plant it will regrow with added vigour. The Taliban in Afghanistan has come back powerfully after 20 years of pruning by the US and coalition forces. Remember that pre-invasion by the US the Taliban did not control all of Afghanistan and now, they have expanded their territory to encapsulate the entire nation. In addition, they are well armed thanks to capturing the arms of the capitulated US funded Afghan army. Many people are asking, what was it all for the trillions spent and the many lives lost? Transplanted democracy uprooted in Afghanistan by the Taliban leaves many unanswered questions.
Failed Nation State Building & Women’s Rights in Afghanistan?
It is important to remember that the US did not invade to improve the human rights of women and minority groups in Afghanistan. They invaded to attack those providing safe haven for al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups. The fact that this invasion lasted 20 years had a number of spin offs. However, as President Joe Biden recently said this was never about nation building and should not be confused upon this false premise. You cannot impose western democratic processes upon cultures not ready to develop them for their own benefit. Local populations must fight for these things themselves.
Taliban Supported in Removal of Foreign Power
Afghanistan is a patriarchal tribal society and, as much, as some sections of their society appreciated the removal of the Taliban, I am sure there were many who felt invaded by a foreign power. The Taliban represent home rule to many Afghans and a truly nationalistic fervour supports them on this basis. The sudden and complete collapse of the foreign power backed government shows that it was a plant lacking any real root stock to sustain it. Imposing foreign forms of government upon cultures like this invariably does not work. Only home-grown structures will flourish in the long run.
Taliban Made Up of Afghan Men
It will be interesting to see what version of the Taliban emerges in Afghanistan in 2021. It is also important to remember that these are Afghan men, and that the Taliban is ultimately just another label. The hard-line Islamic beliefs held by these men are less about any religion and more about the men holding them. If you look at the large conservative populations in America and Australia, many of the men hold views and beliefs around gender that share some of the Taliban’s inequitable principles. Donald Trump’s America was a prime example of this parallel universe. The US stayed in Afghanistan far too long and should not have invaded this country in the first place. Thinking that you are right and better at human rights does not give any power the right to invade another nation state.