July 14, 2021
The Taliban were making progress each year over the last several years while we were still there.U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on the current gains by the Taliban as America winds down its longest war.
- Recent reports include the Taliban taking control of a key border crossing with Pakistan, as well as overseeing the surrender of Afghanistan's special forces (and reportedly executing some despite their surrender).
- Context: The Taliban currently control more territory now than at any point in the conflict, and continue to aggressively gain more land. Thousands of Afghans have been displaced by the Taliban, fleeing their homes as the Taliban taken more ground.
- Why This Matters: The U.S. recently announced full withdrawal will happen at the end of August. The Taliban worked with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan & Pakistan; Al Qaeda hatched and launched the 9/11 terrorist attacks from Afghanistan. Questions remain about how much an unstable environment in Afghanistan fuels more terrorist activity/ideology and thus threatens safety elsewhere.
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by Jenna Lee,