Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

As the U.S. departs Afghanistan, will the old Taliban reemerge?

< 1 min

Washington Post, 1 May 2021

In this article by Missy Ryan and Susannah George, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is both quoted directly and from his recently published article at West Point’s CTC Sentinel:

Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, said he believes the Taliban is waiting to gauge its strength relative to other parties, including elements of the current Afghan government or warlords, who might contend for power after the September deadline that Biden has set for the U.S. exit.

“We will start to know when the last soldier has left,” Ruttig said of whether the Taliban has changed.

In a recent research paper, Ruttig laid out the mixed evidence of whether the Taliban’s ideology and probable governing stance had evolved since 2001. The group, which previously banned TV and most music, has, for example, embraced the Internet and social media. It appears more open to facilitating foreign aid. But in other areas, such as political freedoms, it has shown little intent to embrace major change.