You have won. The Taliban have Afghanistan under their control. Although NATO tried for almost twenty years to prevent this for the foreseeable future. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers from dozens of countries, Western aid in the billions, an unprecedented feat of strength by the international community. Now the last US soldiers have also left the country.
Accordingly, the Taliban are very happy. There is a lively atmosphere. The fighters gather in the streets, shoot volleys of victory in the air and let fireworks soar into the sky to celebrate the departure of the last NATO soldiers.
And not only that: The Taliban also held mock funerals and buried coffins with American, British and French flags. NATO insignia can also be seen – a symbolic act.
Taliban hope for good relations with the US and the world
At the same time, many fighters hold a white Taliban flag in their hands and proudly hold it up. The Islamists are already celebrating the withdrawal as the new Independence Day. “The 20-year occupation of Afghanistan by the US and NATO ended this evening. God is great, ”tweeted senior Taliban member Anas Hakkani.
Taliban spokesman Mujahid said the Taliban wanted good relations with the US and the world, according to CNN. It is hoped that Afghanistan will never be occupied again and that it will remain prosperous and free – an Islamic-ruled homeland for all Afghans.
International commitment has also made a difference
Since the Taliban came to power, the movement has tried to portray itself as more moderate than during its reign of terror between 1996 and 2001. Many in the country continue to worry that the militant group could reign again through repression and with draconian punishments. However, the Islamists have promised to involve other political forces in their new government.
In the chaos of the withdrawal, the fact that much has been achieved in Afghanistan in recent years has receded into the background. Two of many examples: The average life expectancy has risen from 56 years in 2001 to the last 63 years, the number of schoolchildren has grown from 900,000 (boys only) to 9.5 million (almost 40 percent of them girls).
It is unclear which achievements will survive the new version of the Taliban regime – this is especially true for women’s rights. How the world will find out what will happen in Afghanistan in the future is also open. At least there is hope that the Islamists will not be able to completely seal off Afghanistan again. Cell phone networks are well developed, and smartphones are widespread. (jmh / SDA)