I think we have to prepare for a future here in which, as you point out, you now have the Taliban armed better than they have ever been and in a position where they have a narrative of victory over our trained Afghan national security forces, of course, which essentially melted away. But beyond that, this is going to play into broader jihadist propaganda about how yet another great imperial power has gone down in Afghanistan.
This could become a clarion call for other international terrorist organizations around the world.
They may not set up shop right away openly in Afghanistan, but the threat that it will pose to us in the future will be even greater in many ways because it will be a state that has learned a lot about our weaknesses. It will be a government that understands how to play the system a bit better, and it’s going to be wealthier, better armed, as we already pointed out, and also with that victory narrative. So we’ve got some real challenges in the future in Afghanistan.
Certainly the ineptitude of the Biden administration on display here is going to embolden every actor who wants to work against US interests all over the world, whether we’re talking about Russia, China, international terrorist groups. Iran, of course, still the greatest state sponsor for terror, although I’m sure the Afghan Taliban is going to be trying to vie for for that.When you see this happen, you can’t help but think that the Bush administration lacks the kind of strategy, planning and ability to thwart threats on the horizon that are right in front of its face as well. So there’s going to have to take stock and realize we have real challenges.