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Afghanistan: the taliban's return
23| September | 2021

On 15 August 2021, President Karzai's departure marks the fall of Kabul. Just 3 months after Allied troops began their withdrawal from the country, and after 20 years of war, the chaos of evacuation and the reinstallation of a Taliban regime ensued.



Resources | Opinions & Analysis | Editorials | News



The U.S. War in Afghanistan: 1999 – 2021
Council on Foreign Relations

Modern Sunni-Shia Tensions: 1979 – 2021
Council on Foreign Relations

The Taliban in Afghanistan [03/08/2021]
Lindsay Maizland, CFR

Afghanistan Continues to Descend into Violence with No End in Sight [02/07/2021]
Soufan Center

What we should all know about Afghanistan [30/06/2021]
Sandra Petersmann, Qantara

Afghanistan, Graveyard of Empires [12/2001]
Milton Bearden, Foreign Affairs


Opinions & Analysis
The Taliban Takeover and China-​Russia Relations [11/2021]
Brian G. Carlson, CSS

A Half Century Of Conflict Is Enough [23/09/2021]
Doug Bandow, American Conservative

The Limits of China’s Engagement in Afghanistan [14/09/2021]
Jon Hoffman, World Politics Review

Forward to the Past? Weigh Covert Options in Afghanistan Carefully [14/09/2021]
Thomas Waldman & Rory Cormac, War on the Rocks

How we failed Afghanistan [13/09/2021]
Caroline Fourest, Unherd

Confronting the disaster left behind in Afghanistan [10/09/2021]
Mir Sadat, Atlantic Council

The US Withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Future of American Interventionism [09/09/2021]
Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo, IPSI

Biden will survive the Afghan withdrawal, but it seals the fate of liberal intervention [03/09/2021]
Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

Should the UN Deploy a Peacekeeping Operation in Afghanistan? Wrong Question. [03/09/2021]
Adam Day, Global Observatory

We now feel the consequences of marginalising the Taliban [03/09/2021]
Hujjatullah Zia, Al Jazeera

The Afghan Tragedy and the Age of Unpeace [03/09/2021]
Mark Leonard, Project Syndicate

US relations and European security after fall of Kabul [02/09/2021]
Hilde Vautmans, EU Observer

China Is Now The Superpower With Biggest Stake In Afghanistan [02/09/2021]
Jorge E. Malena, Clarin

How Not to Repeat My History with the Taliban [02/09/2021]
David Pollock, Washington Institute

Addressing Humanitarian and Security Needs in Afghanistan [02/09/2021]
David Cortright & George A. Lopez, Global Observatory

Afghanistan’s security forces unraveled this month. What broke their seven-year stalemate with the Taliban? [01/09/2021]
Stephen Biddle & Yuri M. Zhukov, Washington Post

The Taliban’s chance [01/09/2021]
Andrea Schmitz & Christian Wagner, SWP

Reflections on the Afghan Mission  [01/09/2021]
Keith Mines, Foreign Service Journal

The Taliban, the Afghan state and the rule of law [01/09/2021]
Haroun Rahimi, Al Jazeera

Is the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan the End of the American Empire? [01/09/2021]
Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker

The Economic Roots of the Afghan Debacle [01/09/2021]
Daniel Gros, Project Syndicate

Afghanistan: A Poster Child for Foreign-Aid Failure [01/09/2021]
Steve H. Hanke, National Review

With Taliban in control, a grubby search for allies begins [01/09/2021]
Faisal Al Yafai, Asia Times

What the U.S. and its allies can do to help Afghans who remained behind [31/08/2021]
Obaidullah Baheer, Washington Post

The Taliban Can’t Control Afghanistan. That Should Worry the West. [31/08/2021]
Fawaz A. Gerges, Foreign Policy

The U.S. couldn’t build Afghanistan a democracy. That rarely works. [31/08/2021]
Jacqueline L. Hazelton, Washington Post

The Wages of Defeat in Afghanistan [31/08/2021]
Chris Patten, Project Syndicate

The US withdrawal from Afghanistan is complete. What’s next? [30/08/2021]
William F. Wechsler, Barry Pavel, Christopher Preble & Daniel Fried, Atlantic Council

What Went Wrong in Afghanistan? [30/08/2021]
Rakesh Sood, ISPI

India is failing its Afghan friends [30/08/2021]
Constantino Xavier, Hindustan Times

Biden’s Afghan Best-Case Scenario [30/08/2021]
Walter Russell Mead, Wall Street Journal

Where Iran Stands on the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan [30/08/2021]
Ray Takeyh, CFR

Afghanistan Was Lost Long Ago [30/08/2021]
James Dobbins, Foreign Affairs

Losing Afghanistan is bad. But we’re much safer from terrorism now than after 9/11. [30/08/2021]
Michael Leiter, Washington Post

Afghanistan always defeats the West [30/08/2021]
William Dalrymple, UnHerd

Sanctions on the Taliban Will Hurt Afghan Citizens. Here’s How To Fix That. [30/08/2021]
Husain Haqqani, Hudson Institute

The Biden doctrine will allow America to focus on bigger goals [30/08/2021]
Stephen Walt, Financial Times

When the Chips Are Down, It’s a ‘Me First’ World [30/08/2021]
Stewart M. Patrick, World Politics Review

Afghanistan 2021: China's Reaction to the US Military Withdrawal from Afghanistan [30/08/2021]
Mohamad Zreik, IFIMES

Japan’s Bold New Taiwan Policy [30/08/2021]
Riley Walters, Hudson Institute

Don’t blame the Afghan army for what’s happening now [29/08/2021]
Emile Simpson, Financial Times

ISIS-K is ready to fight the Taliban. Here’s how the group became a major threat in Afghanistan. [29/08/2021]
Abdul Sayed, Washington Post

There's chaos and risk in Afghanistan exit, but Biden critics are getting it mostly wrong [29/08/2021]
David Rothkopf, USA Today

The Bell Tolls for Us in Kabul  [29/08/2021]
Bernard-Henri Lévy, Spectator

Charting Mass Internal Displacement in Afghanistan [27/08/2021]
Matthew P. Funaiole & Erol Yayboke, CSIS

Don’t Abandon Afghanistan’s Economy Too [27/08/2021]
Adam Tooze, Foreign Policy

Afghanistan: The US decides, but will Europe pay the bill? [27/08/2021]
Przemysław Osiewicz, Atlantic Council

Fall of Kabul: Inconvenient Truths for NATO [27/08/2021]
Rachel Ellehuus & Pierre Morcos, CSIS

The Real Reason U.S. Allies Are Upset About Afghanistan [27/08/2021]
Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy

Afghanistan: The US decides, but will Europe pay the bill? [27/08/2021]
Przemysław Osiewicz, MEI

Is U.S. Allied With Taliban Against ISIS Now?  [27/08/2021]
Joshua Keating, Slate

First, the Taliban Won the Propaganda War [26/08/2021]
Emerson Brooking, Atlantic Council

It wasn’t hubris that drove America into Afghanistan. It was fear. [26/08/2021]
Robert Kagan, Washington Post

The Taliban Are Far Closer to the Islamic State Than They Claim [26/08/2021]
Sajjan M. Gohel, Foreign Policy

The Forever War Fallacy  [26/08/2021]
Noah Rothman, National Review

A Way Out Of Biden’s Afghan Trap [26/08/2021]
Paula Dobriansky & Paul Saunders, Wall Street Journal

What Fall of Afghan Government Means for Europe  [25/08/2021]
Asli Aydıntaşbaş et al, ECFR

Pakistan’s Support for the Taliban: What to Know [25/08/2021]
Manjari Chatterjee Miller, CFR

Taliban Rule in Afghanistan Inflames Sectarian Impulses in the Middle East [25/08/2021]
Bassma Kodmani, Institut Montaigne

The Roads Not Taken in Afghanistan [25/08/2021]
Kori Schake, Foreign Affairs

The capture of Kabul: What the Taliban takeover will mean for Iran’s economy [25/08/2021]
Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, ECFR

Dures réalités en Afghanistan [25/08/2021]
Didier Billion, IRIS

Taliban Rule Begins in Afghanistan [24/08/2021]
International Crisis Group

The Taliban and the formation of a new Afghan government [24/08/2021]
Vinay Kaura, Atlantic Council

Endgame in Afghanistan: Should We Be Worried? [24/08/2021]
Bruno Tertrais, Institut Montaigne

The coming collapse of the Taliban [24/08/2021]
Andrew Latham, The Hill

The Fall of Kabul and the Weight of Western Defeat [24/08/2021]
Michel Duclos, Institut Montaigne

What Afghanistan Should Mean for Europe [24/08/2021]
Judy Dempsey, Carnegie Europe

China-US rivalries after the Afghan war [24/08/2021]
Robert R. Bianchi, Atlantic Council

Afghanistan: How it could have been different [24/08/2021]
Carl Bildt, ECFR

South Asia and the Taliban: Ground Zero for a New Cold War? [23/08/2021
Christophe Jaffrelot, Institut Montaigne

The time for equivocating about a nuclear-armed, Taliban-friendly Pakistan is over [23/08/2021]
John R. Bolton, Washington Post

Biden Must Keep U.S. Operatives in Afghanistan To Enable the Counterterrorism Mission [23/08/2021]
Bilal Y. Saab & Mick Mulroy, MEI

Afghanistan Hasn’t Damaged U.S. Credibility [21/08/2021]
Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy

Why Nation-Building Failed in Afghanistan [20/08/2021]
Daron Acemoglu, Project Syndicate

Occidente se esconde tras las mentiras manufacturadas sobre Afganistán [20/08/2021]
Ana Ballesteros Peiró, ES Global

Niall Ferguson on why the end of America’s empire won’t be peaceful [20/08/2021]
Niall Ferguson, The Economist

Afghanistan Was Always About American Politics [20/08/2021]
James K. Galbraith, Project Syndicate

What Washington owes the American people after its Afghanistan failure [19/08/2021]
Christopher Preble, Atlantic Council

A strategic assessment from India: Kabul’s chaos makes Pakistan look more dangerous [19/08/2021]
Vappala Balachandran, Atlantic Council

Russia May Live to Regret Betting on the Taliban in Afghanistan [18/08/2021]
Kirill Krivosheev, Carnegie Moscow Center

China’s Coming Afghan Policy: a Window on China’s New Strategy [18/08/2021]
François Godement, Institut Montaigne

Quiénes ganan con la victoria de los talibanes en Afganistán [18/08/2021]
Jesús A. Núñez Villaverde, ES Global

Pax Americana Died in Kabul [17/08/2021]
Brahma Chellaney, Project Syndicate

Blood in the Sand [17/08/2021]
Jeffrey D. Sachs, Project Syndicate

Afeganistão. "Os talibã conseguiram uma coisa que é absolutamente única" (vídeo) [16/08/2021]
Carlos Branco, SIC Notícias

Biden Was Right [16/08/2021]
Charles A. Kupchan, Project Syndicate

Joe Biden’s credibility has been shredded in Afghanistan [13/08/2021]
Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

Afghanistan’s people deserve peace, not another civil war [13/08/2021]
Waqar Mustafa, Khaleej Times

Whatever happens next in Afghanistan, a humanitarian disaster is already in train [13/08/2021]
Hameed Hakimi, The Guardian

Regional approach to end-game [11/08/2021]
Zahid Hussain, Dawn

The West’s Best Allies for 20 Years Are in Grave Danger [11/08/2021]
Jeanne Bourgault & Ahmed Rashid, New York Times

Afghanistan and Central Asia’s ASEAN Moment [10/08/2021]
Moez Hayat, the Diplomat

The Afghanistan War Was a (Partial) Success [09/08/2021]
Jonathan Rauch, Persuasion

Turkey’s Political-Military Strategy to Stabilize Afghanistan [06/08/2021]
Rich Outzen, Jamestown Foundation

UK Foreign Aid Cuts and an Afghan Refugee Crisis [06/08/2021]
Mary Hunter, RUSI

Don't Lose Afghanistan [06/08/2021]
James Cunningham et al, Atlantic Council

An uneasy limbo for US-Pakistan relations amidst the withdrawal from Afghanistan [06/08/2021]
Madiha Afzal, Brookings

Can Uzbekistan and Pakistan Help Stabilize Afghanistan? [05/08/2021]
James Durso, The Diplomat

These Women Fought for Afghanistan’s Future. Now They Don't Want to Leave It Behind [05/08/2021]
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Time

Searching for the Next War: What Happens When Contractors Leave Afghanistan? [05/08/2021]
Noah Coburn & Peter Gill, The Diplomat

After the withdrawal: China’s interests in Afghanistan [05/08/2021]
Janka Oertel & Andrew Small, ECFR

Afghanistan: Can the Militias Save the Islamic Republic? [04/08/2021]
Antonio Giustozzi, RUSI

We Cannot Stand by and Watch Afghanistan Collapse [02/08/2021]
Kai Eide & Tadamichi Yamamoto, New York Times

We failed so badly in Afghanistan. But to throw in the towel now would be an act of betrayal [01/08/2021]
Dan Jarvis, The Guardian

Afghanistan’s future path to be determined by a corridor of power [01/08/2021]
Paul Rogers, Open Democracy

Post-U.S. Afghanistan Will Test China as Military Power [31/07/2021]
David Dodwell, SCMP

Afghanistan 2021 Is Not Afghanistan 1996. That Offers Hope for Peace. [30/07/2021]
Mirwais Wakil & Anthony Pahnke, The Diplomat

Can India Make a Play in Afghanistan? [29/07/2021]
Michael Kugelman, Foreign Policy

A US-Russia Deal on Afghanistan? [28/07/2021]
Djoomart Otorbaev, Project Syndicate

Stop Assuming the Taliban Will Win [28/07/2021]
Anchal Vohra, Foreign Policy

Northern Afghanistan once kept out the Taliban. Why has it fallen so quickly this time? [28/07/2021]
Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, Monkey Cage

Afganistán, ahora o nunca [27/07/2021]
Michael Keating, ES Global

Joe Biden’s Afghan pullout could end in tragedy [26/07/2021]
Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

The Taliban: what could its return to power mean for Afghanistan? [26/07/2021]
Kaweh Kerami, The Conversation

Afghanistan’s neighbours need to step in if they want stability [26/07/2021]
Najib Sharifi, Al Jazeera

L’Afghanistan va-t-il redevenir un sanctuaire du jihadisme international? [25/07/2021]
Jean-Pierre Filiu, Le Monde

Afghanistan after the US withdrawal: The Taliban speak more moderately but their extremist rule hasn’t evolved in 20 years [22/07/2021]
Sher Jan Ahmadzai, The Conversation

Pakistan’s Pyrrhic Victory in Afghanistan [22/07/2021]
Husain Haqqani, Foreign Affairs

A Taliban Victory Is Not Inevitable [21/07/2021]
Seth G. Jones, Foreign Affairs

In Afghanistan, Deja Vu All Over Again [17/07/2021]
Aidai Masylkanova, The Diplomat

The US withdraws from Afghanistan after 20 years of war: 4 questions about this historic moment [15/07/2021]
Mark R. Jacobson, The Conversation

Afghanistan After the U.S. Pullout: Challenges to Russia and Central Asia [13/07/2021]
Dmitri Trenin, Carnegie Moscow Center

As the Taliban surges across Afghanistan, al-Qaeda is poised for a swift return [13/07/2021]
Greg Barton, The Conversation

The People We Leave Behind in Afghanistan [09/07/2021]
Farah Stockman, New York Times

Why Both Russia and U.S. Got Nowwhere in Afghanistan [08/07/2021]
Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

Chronicle of a Defeat Foretold [07/2021]
Christina Lamb, Foreign Affairs

In Afghanistan, a summer of pain awaits [22/06/2021]
David Ignatius, Washington Post

Biden’s exit from Afghanistan has been very Trumpy [15/06/2021]
Max Boot, Washington Post

We Cannot Afford to Turn Our Backs on Afghanistan [13/06/2021]
Robert M. Gates, New York Times

The confusion of a rushed U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan could lead to disaster [04/06/2021]
Ronald E. Neumann, Washington Post

Why Biden Is Right to Leave Afghanistan [20/05/2021]
Jeremy Scahill, New York Times

How the Good War Went Bad: America’s Slow-Motion Failure in Afghanistan [03/2020]
Carter Malkasian, Foreign Affairs


The new Afghan government [08/09/2021]
Hindustan Times

The US departure from Afghanistan: its responsibilities don’t end here [31/08/2021]
The Guardian

A Dishonest Afghanistan Accounting [31/08/2021]
Wall Street Journal

Dealing with the Taliban: no good options [30/08/2021]
The Guardian

A Kaboul, le pire scenario [27/08/2021]
Le Monde

America’s ‘forever war’ is a long way from over [27/08/2021]
Financial Times

The G7 risks making its Afghan quagmire worse [25/08/2021]
The National

G7’s great game: the Taliban rules in Kabul [24/08/2021]
The Guardian

Afghanistan : Joe Biden face à son premier échec [23/08/2021]
Le Monde

Taliban should not have a veto on the Afghan evacuation [23/08/2021]
Financial Times

The unfolding tragedy in Afghanistan [22/08/2021]
The Observer

Afghanistan: UN needs to intervene as terrible situation unfolds [16/08/2021]
Irish Times

A new Afghan war [12/08/2021]
Hindustan Times

Don't turn your back on Afghanistan, world [10/08/2021]
India Times

Is America not accountable for Afghan misery? [10/08/2021]
Khaleej Times

Looming peril [08/08/2021]

The Taliban Advance Escalates in Afghanistan [08/08/2021]
Wall Street Journal

The wheel risks turning full circle in Afghanistan [06/08/2021]
Financial Times

Taliban’s advance: we still have a responsibility to Afghans [06/08/2021]
The Guardian

Afghanistan’s Neighbors Need to Send a Clear Message [02/08/2021]

Afghanistan: le cruel abandon des femmes [28/07/2021]
Le Monde

Leaving the past behind: On Afghanistan [19/07/2021]
The Hindu

The Afghan knot [10/07/2021]
Indian Express

Afghanistan mirrors US evil acts, contrasting China’s goodwill [09/07/2021]
Global Times

Afghanistan withdrawal: a retreat into uncertainty [05/07/2021]
The Guardian

Biden’s cold response to Afghanistan’s collapse will have far-reaching consequences [02/07/2021]
Washington Post

An avoidable tragedy looms in Afghanistan. Biden must act quickly to avert it. [22/06/2021]
Washington Post


Taliban claims victory in Panjshir as it calls to end war: Live [03/09/2021]
Al Jazeera

Heavy clashes erupt between Taliban and anti-Taliban group in Afghanistan's Panjshir province [03/09/2021]
Mohammed Tawfeeq, Nathan Hodge, Nilly Kohzad & Saleem Mehsud, CNN

Afghanistan: Taliban to rely on Chinese funds, spokesperson says [02/09/2021]
Al Jazeera

Afghanistan’s neighbours offered millions in aid to harbour refugees [31/08/2021]
Patrick Wintour, The Guardian

Ahmad Massoud: ‘Peace Does Not Mean to Surrender’  [30/08/2021]
Lynne O’Donnell, Foreign Policy

U.S. Shoots Down Rockets Aimed at Kabul’s Airport [30/08/2021]
Eric Schmitt & Dan Bilefsky, The New York Times

Are Syrian jihadis ready to take the fight to Afghanistan? [27/08/2021]
Al Monitor

Afghanistan’s Shia are fearful in face of Taliban takeover [26/08/2021]
Amy Kazmin, Najmeh Bozorgmehr & Farhan Bokhari, Financial Times

Western leaders to lobby Biden on Afghan pull-out delay
Eszter Zalan, EU Observer

Miscue After Miscue, U.S. Exit Plan Unravels [20/08/2021]
Michael D. Shear, David E. Sanger, Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt, Julian E. Barnes & Lara Jakes, New York Times

Afghanistan’s Unraveling May Strike Another Blow to U.S. Credibility [16/08/2021]
Steven Erlanger, The New York Times

UK and US troops to help evacuate staff from Afghanistan [13/08/2021]
Eszter Zalan, EU Observer

More than 300,000 Afghans flee the country in the face of Taliban offensive [12/08/2021]
Alba Sanz, Atalayar

Taliban tighten grip on approaches to Kabul in Afghanistan offensive [12/08/2021]
Akhtar Mohammad Makoii & Peter Beaumont, The Guardian

Ghani makes reshuffles in top military officials [11/08/2021]
Afghanistan Times

Inside the Biden administration as Afghanistan collapses [11/08/2021]
Jonathan Swan, Zachary Basu & Glen Johnson, Axios

U.N. to Taliban: ‘Stop the bloodshed, return to talks’ [11/08/2021]
Afghanistan Times

Taliban told that Afghan government installed by force will go unrecognised [10/08/2021]
Akhtar Mohammad Makoii & Peter Beaumont, The Guardian

Afghan Provincial Capitals On the Brink as Taliban Make Advances [09/08/2021]
Catherine Putz, The Diplomat

Major coup for Taliban as fighters take Afghan city of Kunduz [08/08/2021]
Akhtar Mohammad Makoii & Luke Harding, The Guardian

Afghan official Q&A: What next amid new Taliban offensive? [08/08/2021]
Al Jazeera

Kabul blast claimed by Taliban kills Afghan air force pilot [07/08/2021]
Al Jazeera

UK agrees to consider providing safe haven for Afghan journalists [06/08/2021]
Kevin Rawlinson & Emma Graham-Harrison, The Guardian

With Militias in Herat, ‘We Are Caught Between Bad and Worse’ [06/08/2021]
Lynne O’Donnell, Foreign Policy

Afghanistan: 'The battle is very intense around Lashkar Gah' [04/08/2021]

How do Afghanistan forces and Taliban compare? [04/08/2021]
Al Jazeera

Blast in Afghan capital as Taliban claim attack on minister's compound [04/08/2021]

La perspective d’un retour des talibans en Afghanistan embarrasse l’Inde [04/08/2021]
Guillaume Delacroix, Le Monde

Afghanistan after the US: the growing threat of a Taliban takeover [04/08/2021]
Stephanie Findlay & Fazelminallah Qazizai, Financial Times

‘The Taliban Have Not and Will Not Ever Change’ [03/08/2021]
Lynne O’Donnell, Foreign Policy

Afghanistan: Ghani blames ‘abrupt’ US exit for worsening security [02/08/2021]
Al Jazeera

Afganistán entra en un torbellino de violência [02/08/2021]
Guillermo Altares, El País

Afghan forces bomb Taliban in bid to halt advance on cities [01/08/2021]
Al Jazeera

Afghanistan’s Herat under pressure amid ongoing Taliban assault [31/07/2021]
Ali M Latifi, Al Jazeera

Herat residents fear Taliban in their homes and workplaces as it masses outside city [31/07/2021]
Akhtar Mohammad Makoii & Emma Graham-Harrison, The Guardian

Afghanistan’s War Splinters as Southern Tribes Fight for Spoils [30/07/2021]
Lynne O’Donnell, Foreign Policy

‘Absolute nonsense’: Khan rejects claim Pakistan helping Taliban [30/07/2021]
Al Jazeera

Top U.S. Diplomat Talks Relocation of Afghan Allies in Kuwait [28/07/2021]
Isabel Debre, Associated Press

En Afghanistan, les talibans aux portes du pouvoir [28/07/2021]
Ghazal Golshiri & Bruno Philip, Le Monde

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