Date: 8 September 2021
Event Summary: An unwinnable war? Taliban Afghanistan as assessed by a local journalist
The risk of a civil war in Afghanistan (like in Syria) and over 7 million new refugees are a real danger, as Ahmad Farid Danesh Akrami suggested in an interview with Tomasz Kijewski, president of the Warsaw Institute.
A long-term plan to move away from Western forces allowed the Taliban to build an appropriate marketing narrative and strengthen public support for the group, said Ahmad Farid Danesh Akrami. Regarding the ineffectiveness of the Afghan government in the fight against the Taliban and the questions that arise as to why this is the case, Mr. Akrami presented data on the size of Afghan law enforcement and military forces, clearly indicating the theoretically sufficient armament potential in the fight against guerrillas. In his opinion, the problem was the political crisis that led to the handover of land to the Taliban without any form of defense.
In the context of the geostrategic role of Afghanistan, Ahmad Farid Danesg Akrami said that the neighboring countries, which play a large role in relations in the region, are an important factor. The guest pointed out that Afghanistan has never developed a strong nation-state, which has always led to destabilization driven by various internal and external interests. In the long run, Afghanistan’s weight is manifested in natural resources that may be of strategic importance. Afghanistan is a huge country of approximately 650,000 square kilometers, with a quarter of it being mountainous.
Regarding China’s recent relations with the Taliban, the guest of the event pointed to the location argument mentioned earlier. Afghanistan can be a great link for China’s economic interests spreading into Central, South, North and West Asia.
Tomasz Kijewski also asked about the last attack in Kabul, which took place during the evacuation from the local airport. ISIS pleaded guilty to the attack. Ahmad Farid Danesh Akrami stated that ISIS residing in Afghanistan differs from, inter alia, Syrian and Iraqi. It is a group that intelligently plans its actions, in cooperation with neighboring countries like Pakistan. Islamic State militants are highly likely to be involved in the Afghan civil war, which is likely to come to fruition due to the enormous divisions within the Taliban over government building under the new system.
According to the guest of the Warsaw Institute, the Taliban will unconditionally enforce the Sharia law against Afghans after taking power. Chinese, Russian or American influences will be irrelevant, as the goals of Taliban fighters and decision-makers seem to be unchanged and are a phenomenon that breaks beyond the framework of standardly understood politics. The Taliban, as T. Kijewski assessed, strive to organize Afghanistan in full accordance with the specifically understood religious principles (introducing de facto a state entity in the shape of a theocracy). In such a specifically understood political system, the Taliban put “divine rights” first over “human rights” dominating in Western democracies.
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