Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, July 5th, 2020

Collapse of the Taliban: How They Emerged Again

The US believes that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by 19 fanatical Muslims acting on the orders of Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of al-Qaeda, who was being given sanctuary by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan; and the invasion became necessary when they stubbornly refused to turn him over to U.S. authorities.
Following the attack, the Bush administrations then commenced a bombing campaign and freeing of Afghanistan from the atrocities of the Taliban, asserting the need to capture or kill bin Laden and crush his terrorist organization so that they could not launch another deadly attack on the American homeland.
Taliban lost Kandahar on 17 November 2001. The loss of Kandahar was a strategic blow to the terrorist group of Taliban; because it was the spiritual heart of the Taliban that marked the final collapse of their formal rule in Afghanistan. Consequently, Mullah Omar had agreed to leave the city at night and had headed back to the mountains after discussions with tribal chiefs who staged an uprising to challenge Taliban control of the city.
In the space of eight days, the Taliban had gone from controlling 90% of Afghanistan, including almost all its towns and cities, to holding almost none. Kunduz in the north, where about 3,000 Arab and Pakistani fighters were besieged by anti-Taliban forces, was the only city left in the hands of the Taliban and al-Qaida.
Why Taliban were defeated so easily
The key to quick success of the US forces was the way they were hunting down the Taliban and al-Qaida: They killed Taliban that did not surrender and al-Qaida that were trying to move from one place to another. They went into places and met resistance and dealt with it. Taliban and al-Qaida supporters were being picked off all round southern Afghanistan. The US special forces on horseback hunt them down and killed those that refused to surrender.
Afghanistan United Front or Northern alliance, composed of ethnic groups of Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazaras that opposed the Taliban also played a critical role in this respect and assisted the U.S. led forces in routing the Taliban.
One of the other main factors that played a critical role was that, Pakistan as the main founder of Taliban was not in a position to support anymore the brutal and terrorist regime of the Taliban. Because, President Bush had made it clear that, countries either may side by the United States or the Taliban Regime. As a result, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and United Arabic Emirate, the only three countries that had recognized the Taliban Regime, had no option but to support the United Sates and the international community in the War on Terror.
How Taliban Emerged Back
The Taliban regrouped in 2003 with the covert backing of Intelligence Service of a certain neighboring country. Mullah Omar and many of his top aides escaped to the frontier territories of Pakistan, where they reconstituted the Taliban’s central leadership dubbed the “Quetta Shura” for the capital of Balochistan province. Then, they were joined by younger Pashtun tribesmen who studied in Pakistani madrassas, or seminaries; consequently, the Taliban could regroup across the border in Pakistan, and leaded an insurgency against the Kabul government.
With the death of Osama Bin Laden in 2011 al-Qaeda’s power and influence weakened considerably. However, the Muslim World witnessed the rise of one of the most harsh terrorist groups; the emergence of the Islamic State group (IS), was a security threat to the world and Afghanistan. Though, the Taliban have repeatedly rejected any relation with the ISIS, but it is impossible being no relations between the two terrorist groups. Because the final cause of the two groups is the same. In addition to this, the rise of the group helped the Taliban to stretch their preens from the South to North. Security experts hold that there are close ideological links between the terrorist groups, though they may have some disagreements on the methods, but they have many things in common in terms of beliefs and principles; these commonalities create synergy between the terrorist group’s efforts.
Lack of a war strategy against the Taliban by the US and lack of political will of Kabul government, during Karzai’s administration, are cited as the main factors of the failure of war against terror in Afghanistan. Karzai’s government was mainly focused on mainstreaming Taliban to the peace process. This administration pursued incentive policies for Taliban, an approach that only further emboldened them to fight against the Kabul administration in order to topple it and revive their Emirat regime.
Following the completion of the mission of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in December 2014, and when responsibility for security in Afghanistan was transferred to the Afghan national defense and security forces, Taliban believed they could capture many provincial centers of Afghanistan. With this in mind, they planned mass disruption of Afghanistan’s provincial and presidential elections in 2014. But the Taliban failed at one of its chief strategic objectives of 2014. Then, they planned to capture some strategic provincial centers in 2018 and to mass disrupt the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2018 and 2019. However, Taliban failed to achieve their strategic goals in 2018 and 2019.
Consequently, the Taliban have concluded that they cannot win the war. As a result, they have started direct negotiations with the US and ultimately they will start direct negotiations with the Afghan government as well. What matters in negotiations with the Taliban is that, there shall be strong guarantees that they will not make measures to impose their long lists of edicts and decrees taking an especially misogynistic view of women; Schools for girls to be closed; And they shall not once more their rules that women to be forbidden to work or leave their homes without verifiable permission; Wearing non-Islamic dress to be forbidden; Wearing makeup and sporting Western products like purses or shoes to be forbidden; Music, dancing, cinemas and entertainment to be banned. Afghans expect that in any peace deal the current constitution, citizen’s basic rights, freedom of speech and freedom of thought must be ensured and the 18 year of democratic achievements shall be preserved.