2 thoughts on “Media Link: ” A View from Afar” discussion on Afghanistan after the US military withdrawal.”

  1. Hi Paul

    A very good commentary as usual.

    My wish list is the coalition partners just quietly walk away. With time Afghans need to find their own level of governance and leadership.

    On another note, How will the Taliban react to the opium industry?

  2. Edward:

    It will be interesting how various domestic actors engage with each other once the withdrawal is complete. I have already read reports of ethnic minorities (like the Hazaras) forming militias to resist the “Pashtunisation” of their regions by the Taliban, and that creates space for alliances between them and the Afghan National Government (ANG) and its military. Add to that the engagement of various foreign actors with these factions and the stage is set for a major evolution in how governance is approached. That will impact on the opium trade, which is centred in Pashtun regions along the southern border such as Helmand and Kandahar Provinces and which will see the entrance of non-traditional middlemen involved in exporting the product to foreign markets. That may include Chinese and/or Indian syndicates as well as the traditional ones in Pakistan.

    In any event, it will make for an interesting but unlikely to be peaceful mix.

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