Prof Andrew A Latham: The coming collapse of the Taliban…

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Andrew Latham is a professor of international relations at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. 

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The Taliban should savor its triumph while it can, for it is unlikely to survive much beyond this fleeting moment of victory. And those countries in the region that are similarly disposed to celebrate America’s defeat should also enjoy the moment while it lasts, for the coming collapse of the Taliban is likely to be more a curse than a blessing.

That the Taliban is unlikely to outlive the now-defunct Afghan national government (ANG) by much might seem a far-fetched claim. But the history of the movement — and that of the mujahedeen, which defeated the Soviets and their puppet regime in the late 1980s and early 1990s respectively — strongly suggests that this will almost certainly be the case.

Since its inception, the Taliban has been more a constellation of factions and tribes, drawn from different ethnic and linguistic groups, than the unitary rational actor it is often portrayed to be.
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Whatever the specific outcome, it is a mistake to assume that the future of Afghanistan’s domestic politics or foreign policy will be determined by a unified Taliban government more or less rationally pursuing its interests. Given the chaos and conflict that are likely to ensue, those who are currently celebrating the fall of Afghanistan may soon come to wish for the good old days when the Americans kept at least a partial lid on things.

Read the article:

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/569078-the-coming-collapse-of-the-taliban?rnd=1629754571

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