Victory? Young Afghans pining for the return of the Taliban

Our exit “strategy” in Afghanistan seems to be paying off big dividends. The country is finally back on its feet with a thriving economy and freedom loving citizens are ready to take their place in the 21st century world.

Just kidding. Things are so bad there that the Afghan youth are starting to miss the bad old days under the Taliban. (Washington Post)

At this stage of his career, Ahmad Jawad would like to be selling the terraced estates that housed Taliban leaders before they were driven from the Afghan capital in 2001.

But the 27-year-old real estate agent hasn’t sold a house in nearly a year, and he is so desperate for money that he hopes the Taliban returns to Kabul to impose “rule of law.”

“If they can enforce the law like it was enforced during their reign, they are welcome,” said Jawad, who blames unemployment, graft and the lack of security for a collapse in Kabul’s housing market. “There was less crime. There was less corruption. There was less embezzlement.”

His words reflect a shift in the opinions held by some of Kabul’s millennials on both the Taliban and President Ashraf Ghani’s government: Bashing the Islamist insurgency has gone out of style as frustration with the current leadership mounts.

While we certainly retain some supporters in Afghanistan, particularly among those who would like to see some semblance of equality for women, their numbers appear to be small and getting smaller, located mostly in a few urban areas. We’ve seen far too many instances of our supposed partners in the Afghan police and military turning around and attacking our troops. Its probably not all that surprising that the people who hear the United States constantly talking about pulling out entirely are fearful for their lives and ready to go back under the thumb of their former masters who at least provided something resembling stability, albeit under harsh conditions.

Frankly, it’s time to fish or cut bait. If we can’t (or won’t) invest the resources necessary to get the job done we should probably just leave them to their own devices. I don’t think we truly understood the culture we were trying to upend when we initially went in there and right now it’s looking more and more like Afghanistan will return to being a failed state and a breeding ground for terrorists. It’s a black hole, sucking up our money and resources, and when their youth are starting to look back fondly at the days of Taliban control, the fight is pretty much over.


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Jazz Shaw 5:31 PM on February 04, 2023