Seth G. Jones, National Interest: How the Taliban Would Take Over Afghanistan
Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan will almost certainly undermine any possibility of a peace settlement.
The seemingly endless war in Afghanistan—which is heading toward its eighteenth year since the overthrow of the Taliban regime—has led to a renewed push for an American military withdrawal. The Trump administration is considering withdrawing some or all U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Several American politicians support a drawdown. “I think we should come home,” declared U.S. Senator Rand Paul. “I don’t think we have enough money to be paying to build and rebuild and build and rebuild Afghanistan … Let’s rebuild America.”
Others have argued that Vietnam turned out fine in the end following the U.S. withdrawal in 1975. “While the Vietnam War was a near-term strategic defeat, in retrospect, it may yet prove to have been a geo-strategic win,” another article in Small Wars Journal concluded. “The same may prove true for Afghanistan after a U.S. withdrawal. Like a bad business investment, there are times when you must accept one’s losses and move on.”
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WNU Editor: At the moment I do not see the Taliban being successful in taking over Afghanistan. Most Afghans despise them and their brutal rule, and they will resist. But …. if the Taliban do take over Kabul, the immediate impact would be a refugee crisis that the region and the world would not be prepared for. The Taliban would also want to seek revenge against the ethnic groups that they have been in conflict with even before the U.S. invasion in 2001 …. and that in itself would produce bloodshed that Afghanistan has not seen in years. A Taliban victory would also embolden radical Islamic groups in the region, and it would be a magnet for other radical groups …. Al Qaeda included …. to set up camp in the country.