FEATURE: Is the return of the Taliban inevitable?

A mullah dies, and war comes knocking

The only reason Pakistan’s invasion-by-proxy has morphed into something even vaguely resembling an insurgency is that the Afghan people are at the limit of their endurance with a government that pillages and brutalizes them and lies to them barefaced. Judges demand fortunes for positive verdicts. Customs agents expect kickbacks for every transaction. Police officers shake people down or kidnap them for ransom. Six years of depredations by the government have led to its rejection — and to resentment of the international community that installed it and then refused to supervise it. From those feelings of anger have spread pools of collaboration with the Taliban.

Meanwhile, have the Taliban changed their approach to the exercise of power? Not in the least. They still seek to gain control via terror — by hanging bodies upside-down from trees, by placing pieces of men in gunny sacks like quarters of meat to horrify their neighbors.

So what has changed in six years, except the West’s failure to provide a palatable alternative? Is this to be the world’s response to that failure? “Oh, we weren’t able to do any better for the Afghans than the Taliban, so we may as well bring them back in and get the place off our hands.” [complete article]

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