ASSESSMENTS

The Taliban’s Challenge of Legitimacy

MIN READAug 16, 2021 | 22:22 GMT

Leaders of the Taliban walk to attend a press conference in Moscow, Russia, on July 9, 2021.

Leaders of the Taliban walk to attend a press conference in Moscow, Russia, on July 9, 2021.

(DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)

After gaining control of Kabul, the Taliban’s desire for international legitimacy will be shaped by their willingness and capability to constrain transnational militants from using Afghanistan as a base of operations. As the Taliban enter final negotiations with representatives of the Afghan government, the group has already engaged in outreach to countries around the region, most notably China and Russia. Both Beijing and Moscow have already set very specific terms for recognition -- the Taliban must demonstrate its willingness and capability to limit transnational attacks from its territory. In the case of Chinese Uyghurs, this may be a relatively simple task, both politically and militarily. But that task grows more challenging when considering groups like al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), which will feel empowered to set their sights back on other regional targets amid the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. ...

image of globe

Connected Content

Article Search