The Afghan government has its back to the wall. The Taliban have been advancing at an express train pace since the US and its allies withdrew their troops after 20 years. Within just a week, the Islamists conquered nine of the 34 provincial capitals. Now they are targeting the capital Kabul.
According to the former German NATO general Egon Ramms (72), the Afghan soldiers, well-equipped and trained by the Americans, lack stamina and commitment. US President Joe Biden (78) said: «The Afghans now have to fight for their own state. But they must also want to fight. “
Several countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, have suspended the return of migrants to Afghanistan until further notice.
The German security expert Markus Kaim (53) explains to Blick how quickly the Taliban will take over how much power and why the withdrawal of Western troops was not entirely wrong.
Blick: Mr. Kaim, the Taliban are storming towards Kabul. When will they have conquered the capital?
Markus Kaim: The Taliban’s military dynamism is unexpectedly great. I therefore no longer rule out that this will be the case this year.
Will the Taliban succeed in conquering the whole country?
IM not sure. In addition to the central government, there are other opposing forces such as the regional warlords who maintain the resistance. The situation could be reversed: until now, large parts of it have been controlled by the central government and a few by the rebellious Taliban, after which the Taliban will dominate the largest area against the previously superior forces.
Why are the Taliban moving so fast?
The West has focused on the wrong thing, namely too much on training and equipping the Afghan army. Now it has to be stated that these forces are not loyal to the central government. The reasons: They consider them corrupt and illegitimate. In addition, the soldiers are poorly paid.
What are the consequences for the Afghan civilian population if the Taliban come to power?
Your political vision includes an Islamic emirate. All the merits and political developments of the past 20 years are being turned back – for example in education, equality, freedom of the media, the rule of law. The only question is how big the relapse will be.
How much will women suffer under the Islamist Taliban?
It is not very clear. There are already areas controlled by the Taliban where women can participate in daily life and girls can go to school. In other areas, however, their rights have been curtailed much more severely.
Should the West even accept the Taliban as an interlocutor?
You have just met representatives of the German and American governments in Doha for peace talks. The West is betting on exerting influence by threatening the Taliban not to recognize them or by cutting aid funds.
Do you have to reckon with large flows of refugees?
Absolutely. There are already around 300,000 Afghans on the road, but mostly still in their own country. Millions more will open up because around 80 percent of Afghans are dependent on Western grants and these will dry up. In addition, the humanitarian aid organizations will hardly be able to work anymore.
When will the refugees arrive in Europe?
It is not clear when and how many will come at all. It also takes smugglers and a lot of money.
Should we stop deportations to Afghanistan?
I don’t want to speak politically. But the argument that the country is safe for deportation no longer counts.
Was the withdrawal of the Americans, Germans and other allies wrong?
Which would have been the option? It is understandable that patience with the Afghans was running out. Muddling through with the previous means would probably not have achieved the goal in years. And nobody in the West had any appetite for an expansion of the mission.
The Americans are gone now, who will step into the breach?
The vacuum is immediately filled by Russia and China. Afghanistan lies in the backyard of these two great powers, whose first goal is to keep the instability within the Afghan borders and not be exported to their countries.
Do Moscow and Beijing accept the Taliban as the new rulers?
As long as the Taliban maintain instability in their own country, they will be accepted by Russia and China as the dominant political force. China received Taliban representatives a few days ago because it is also interested in natural resources and the infrastructure, something for the construction of the new Silk Road.
What can the West do after the withdrawal?
Not much anymore. He can stop aid funds and deny the Taliban recognition as a government power. But this also affects the civilian population.