The war in Afghanistan, after 20 years, is finally coming to a close. But with the wrong side winning. After the US military started its ongoing withdrawal from Afghanistan in July 2021, the Taliban almost immediately started taking more territory. Now its come to the point were the Taliban have taken Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. We’ll break it down into two chunks: The situation in Afghanistan and the political implications here in the United States.
In the Taliban’s first press conference they seemed to have moderated their rhetoric a bit. They have pledged to respect women’s rights within the rule of Islamic law, not adding anything else. They also said that they would not allow terrorist groups to pop up, and said that they do not seek revenge towards people who worked with the United States. It is unclear if they will act like this since this is a sharp contrast from their rule in the 1990’s. Furthermore, there have been stories of Afghani translators being killed for working with the United States. It also doesn’t seem that the people in Afghanistan trust the Taliban’s word either, as 1000’s of Afghani’s swarmed planes to escape the Taliban’s grasp. Some people were holding on to aircraft wheels as the flights took off. The bottom line is that the Taliban is consolidating their control on Afghanistan – and locals don’t have many options.
Back in the United States top Republicans are slamming Biden for his withdraw, and the chaos it created. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called it an “unmitigated disaster”. However Biden has also been criticised by Democrats. Senator Tom Carper of Delaware has said that the withdraw “should have been carefully planned to prevent violence and instability”. This mess is likely going to effect Democrats in the midterms and in the 2024 General Election. Its already effecting Biden’s approval rating as it dropped below 50% for the first time this week. The point here is that Biden needs to clean this up soon, or it will almost certainly bite democrats at the ballot box.