The Taliban have declared victory. Now they must reckon with a country freefalling into chaos
Afghanistan is a very different country to the one the Taliban ruled between 1996 and 2001. Most Afghans don’t even remember that era — more than 60% of the country is aged under 25. It is urbanizing, diverse, and better connected to the world, all of which place it in stark contrast to the war-torn nation the Taliban conquered 25 years ago.
What the Taliban now do with that country is arguably the world’s most pressing geopolitical question.
“This is one of the most dramatic changes in government in the modern era,” Benjamin Petrini, a research fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), told CNN.
The West is “pulling out not only ourselves but all the human resources that have worked with us for 20 years,” he said. “Those will be replaced with what? That’s a question mark.”
Its leadership has repeatedly insisted that women will play a prominent role in…