Conflicts & War

Taliban advance in Afghanistan spells trouble for wider region

By Indira Guerrero and Jaime León

New Delhi/Islamabad, Jul 21 (EFE).- The Taliban’s unprecedented territorial advances in Afghanistan, where the group has captured more than 100 districts, is a cause for concern for a wider region plagued by insurgent groups looking to learn from example.

The rapid withdrawal of United States and Nato troops after 20 years of operations against the Taliban and other extremist groups left an unfinished conflict in the hands of Afghan forces and vastly altered the security dynamic in the region.

“It is difficult to quantify what is going to happen but it is not good news for anyone in the region,” armed conflict expert and Observer Research Foundation fellow, Kabir Teneja, tells Efe.

“From any insurgency point of view, what the Taliban has managed to achieve is quite tremendous. They have managed to push the West into a corner after 20 years of battle, after being resilient for 20 years.”

With more than 130 of Afghanistan’s 402 districts under their control, as well as several border crossings and public institutions, the Taliban are bad news for countries in South Asia.

They offer inspiration to other insurgents by sending a message that it is possible to defeat the United States, however difficult and arduous the process.

Insurgency groups tend not to be driven by cash or weapons, but rather the strength of an ideology, the analyst says.

Teneja insists that the Taliban should not simply be regarded as a homogenous group, given its links to Al-Qaeda groups and others like Lashkar-e-Taiba, the main insurgency in Kashmir, and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).


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