Taliban is ‘more powerful than ever’ says commentator
Twenty years after American troops invaded and toppled the terrorist government in Kabul, the insurgents are capturing district after district from Afghan security forces amid the withdrawal of foreign troops. Anders Corr, an American political risk analyst, has said a Taliban victory could be around the corner and the UK, US and other Western nations may have no choice but to negotiate with their enemy.
Mr Corr told Express.co.uk: “The government in Kabul is incredibly vulnerable without US forces, Nato forces and even coalition forces who gave them the confidence and the structure, the backbone to be able to go after the Taliban and then retreat into safe spaces.
“Without the US and its allies there they no longer really have the safe space in which to retreat.
“So I think you’re going to see a pretty rapid fall of the Kabul government and reinstallation of the Taliban government, frankly.
“I think America and its allies will ultimately begrudgingly accept the Taliban government and they’ll probably attempt to engage in diplomacy with the Taliban.”
Taliban members in Afghanistan pose with the group’s flags (Image: GETTY)
Afghan soldiers take part in a military ceremony (Image: GETTY)
He also predicted a domino effect would take hold among countries if one or two global leaders recognised the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate leaders.
First in line will be America’s foes, he said, and undoubtedly the Pakistani government which has long been accused of supporting and sheltering members of the terror group.
Mr Corr continued: “They’ll probably be rapidly recognised by China and Russia.
“Iran will not as rapidly recognise them because ethnically they’re closer to the Dari than they are to the Pashtuns.
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The US and its allies are pulling out of Afghanistan, leaving Afghan forces alone to fight the jihadists (Image: GETTY)
“Pakistan will very quickly recognise a new Taliban government. India will be slow about it.”
Mr Corr, publisher of the Journal of Political Risk and head of Corr Analytics, also foretold a budding alliance between China and a Taliban-run government in Kabul.
Beijing is closely aligned with Islamabad, a relationship set to deepen amid the ongoing unrest in the region.
The strengthening of the Sino-Pakistani strategic and military alliance was laid out earlier this month with the latter’s army inducting its first batch of Chinese-made VT-4 battle tanks.
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Afghan women do not have many rights in Taliban-controlled areas (Image: GETTY)
Afghan security forces are engaged in heavy fighting with the Taliban (Image: GETTY)
Built by a Chinese state-owned defence manufacturer, Pakistan is only the third country to receive high-class vehicles.
Mr Corr said Beijing is already supporting the Taliban from a distance and would not hesitate to step up its offer of assistance if the group captured Kabul and reinstated themselves as leaders of Afghanistan.
He said: “Pakistan which gets tonnes of money from China is supporting the Taliban so it’s highly likely that there’s some form of Chinese support passing through Pakistan and into the Taliban.
He added: “They’ve certainly got diplomatic support from China.”
Afghan women wearing burkhas on a Kabul street (Image: GETTY)
And he said this support could be a key deciding factor in determining the winner of a bitter battle between the Taliban and warlords in the north of the country.
The Northern Alliance, a coalition of Afghan militia leaders, are already planning to regroup in a bid to protect communities from the Taliban.
The group made up of Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras and other Afghan ethnic minorities fought the Taliban in the 1990s.
Another Afghan group allied with the US, Jamiat-e-Islami, is also preparing for a brutal struggle with the insurgents.
Civilians are caught between the Taliban and Afghan security forces vying for control (Image: GETTY)
As one of Afghanistan’s strongest parties it played a major part in the 2001 defeat of the Taliban.
Ata Mohammad Noor, head of the party, has criticised US President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of troops, deeming it “irresponsible”.
Mr Corr has said while the US “absolutely” failed in its goal to create a democracy in Afghanistan, it succeeded in ousting a terrorist government that protected Osama Bin Laden.
And this, he argued, would serve as a powerful deterrent to any government tempted to create a safe space for terror groups responsible for attacking America.