August 31, 2021

"[T]he chaotic rush of the government’s collapse during the Taliban advance could leave an unfixable economy, ruin and hunger...."

"As for those left behind in Afghanistan, a country of 38 million minus the thousands who have fled or died in recent weeks, all they can do is look forward, asking themselves and anyone who will listen: What comes next?"

There's almost nothing in that article trying to answer that question, "What comes next?" I'm actively looking for answers to this question. The Taliban waltzed in, but now what? 

The United [Nations] says more than 18 million people - over half Afghanistan's population - require aid and half of all Afghan children under 5 already suffer from acute malnutrition amid the second drought in four years....

There's not much more than that on the question of how Afghanistan can function under the Taliban, just a bit of discussion about whether there will still be flights from the airport.  

47 comments:

Temujin said...

I'd say, 'Enter China' as the answer to what happens next. But I don't think the Chinese are that stupid. It will be ugly. It will be bad. But people have been living in Afghanistan longer than we've been making pizzas in Brooklyn. They'll resort back to what they know.

As for those in Kabul who had a more 'westernized' form of life, that is over. Under the Taliban, things will regress and people will suffer- not because of climate change- but because of Islamic abuse.

I look forward to NYT articles about the softer side of the Taliban, and how life under the Taliban is not as bad as it was under Americans. If they could paint Stalin as better than your best neighbor, imagine what they can do with the Taliban.

Sebastian said...

"how Afghanistan can function under the Taliban"

Depends on the meaning of function. It'll function miserably, and therefore "require" more aid, which the same experts who managed the 20-year debacle will tell us we must provide, for the children of course--besides taking in thousands of Ilhan Omars.

Iman said...

“A word must be said for all those in the United States government who worked very diligently and imaginatively to turn a colossal debacle into an enormous failure.”

—- Sammy Finkelman

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Pompeo said the most corrupt leader he ever encountered (besides Biden and Pelosi families) is the ex-president of Afghanistan who fled.

Joe Smith said...

'What comes next?'

Mostly what came before...

"History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes."

-- Twain

Enigma said...

Afghanistan is not a natural nation with natural borders. It's a region with a zillion tribes that cross arbitrary post-colonial borders. It could return to regional tribes and warlords (if it ever went beyond that). It could return to foreign colonial (i.e., China) exploitation and bribery. It could become Iran #2, but I don't think that'll work because of the many tribes and ridiculous border with Pakistan.

Small, semi-autonomous government regions might work if power can be shared among the warlords.

Big Mike said...

NOW the lefty lunatics who write for the Times are going to worry about what comes next for the people of Afghanistan?

Joe Smith said...

'I'd say, 'Enter China' as the answer to what happens next. But I don't think the Chinese are that stupid.'

Of course they're not. They will send in people to pay off whoever needs to be paid off, and they will extract whatever natural resources they want without sending any kind of antagonistic force.

Amadeus 48 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr Wibble said...

My guess is that this will end up being the high water mark for the Taliban. The ease with which they waltzed in means that they control some key cities, but will rely heavily on the various tribes to play along, and that will break down fairly soon. In a year or two we'll probably see Afghanistan back to something like it was in 2000, with the region split between the Taliban in the south and the non-Pashtun resistance in the north.

Howard said...

Those REM's won't mine themselves.

rehajm said...

Islamic law, as interpreted by the Taliban, comes next. If you're unfamiliar what that means you should read up on it.

Kevin said...

What's going to happen next?

First, the remaining Americans and their closest associates instruct the Taliban on the proper use of preferred pronouns.

Then enlightenment ensues.

gilbar said...

"more than 18 million people - over half Afghanistan's population - require aid and half of all Afghan children under 5 already suffer from acute malnutrition amid the second drought in four years...."

WAIT JUST A DOG GONE MINUTE!!!
I thought that we were Just Told, that Afghanistan's people weren't Our Problem?
NOW, we (WE!) are expected to feed and water them? If their freedom isn't worth it... FUCK THEM!

Seriously, the median age in Afghanist is 18, they are breeding like rabbits...
And y'all think the solution is to FEED them?!?!?!?!

Ann Althouse said...

Please stay on topic. This isn't the place to discuss Biden, the evacuation, or the stranded Americans.

This is about how the country will fare in the hands of the Taliban. The concern here is for the Afghan people. If you don't share that concern, look for a different post to comment on. This is for people who actually feel empathy for the Afghan people, who have had the government they relied on suddenly stripped away.

Ann Althouse said...

Off topic comments removed.

Geoff M said...

Any attempt to send aid will result in much of it being siphoned off to the individuals in power.
This is the consequence of tolerating corruption and of poor governance. Afghanistan was incredibly corrupt, poorly governed, and not unified. Governance, in this case, comes from the barrel of a gun. And I don't know if that will ever change.

narciso said...

it will be terrible, as it was 25 years ago, the real life Gilead, but margaret atwood can't be bothered, but now criminal malice has armed with state of the art weapons, afghanistan will be the first but not the last domino, this is all because of the fraud that was empowered last november, 20 years of blood and guts, broken limbs and shattered souls for what,

Kevin said...

Please stay on topic. This isn't the place to discuss Biden, the evacuation, or the stranded Americans.

This is about how the country will fare in the hands of the Taliban.


i get it. So after the Taliban kills all the collaborators -- what then.

What difference, at that point, does it make?

Patrick Henry was right! said...

You assume the people don't want the Taiban. Where is your evidence of that supposition?

Lance said...

Might be cool to have an "Unfulfilled Headline" tag.

rcocean said...

So half the Children were suffereing from malnutrition, with the USA there. Probably because there was a war on, which is now over. Maybe instead of dropping on them, or drone strikes, we can now send Afghanistan FOOD, so they don't have to suffer from malnutrition.

Wa St Blogger said...

There are a ton of resources available to help a country that wants it. NGOs stand ready to provide education, food, training, all sorts of things. Many western governments will throw money at you if you just make eye contact with one of their low level functionaries. But that won't matter in Afghanistan. In this country, they don't value this temporal life. What matters to them is the next life. Any assistance they accept will be based on that goal foremost. Strict adherence to their laws, not getting into bed with the evil non-believers (except when it helps them gain resources to increase their goal of taking land for Allah. The Taliban hate our western values and do not consider earthly comforts as important as we do. Women and children will suffer because they are not valued.

That is what is next for Afghanistan. If you value this life, this is a tragedy. I don't think it is a tragedy to the hard-line Muslims of that particular sect.

Achilles said...

When the Taliban controlled small areas and towns here is some of what happened:

- They walked around in groups with guns and demanded protection money.
- They and the priests rotated through all of the children, male or female, and used them. You boys were preferred.
- Public executions were common. Lots of Sharia Law going on.
- Unaccompanied women were punished with beatings or rape.
- Women never left their compounds until they were about 40 years old.

I could go on. But why.

Afghanistan is an awful place particularly for women and children.

But one thing that seemingly comes out consistently is that women do not really care about other women. They in fact seem to revel in watching other women suffer misery and suffering. The #MeToo movement has been illuminating in a lot of ways. The way women treat other people's kids is also alarming.

Amadeus 48 said...

OK— I saw a video yesterday of some poor fellow being hung by his neck from a captured helicopter. Somebody is piloting that craft—probably with Taliban stitched on his underwear. I believe that the Chinese will offer employment of a sort at that big copper mine south of Kabul. There are great opportunities in the lithium mines— batteries are the coming thing. Opium? Who knows? That sounds like a cash crop to me. No more music? Sad. Then of course the execution squads will be busy for a while— they have a little list, don’t they? I think we can anticipate the Afghanistan will bump along the way it has for a long time. The Pakistanis, Russians, and Chinese will grab what they can and the locals will continue the bright and beautiful lives they have led since the VIIth century.

Drago said...

Althouse: "This is for people who actually feel empathy for the Afghan people, who have had the government they relied on suddenly stripped away."

No one in Afghanistan "relied" on their government.

Afghanistan is a made up nation with lines drawn by foeigners to serve the foriegners needs: see Britain, Russia and "The Great Game".

Afghans rely only on their families, their tribes and their sects.

"Governments" to them exist solely as a foreign body that may or may not be leveraged for profit and/or as a weapon against enemies.

Steven said...

I expect that what will come next is pretty much what came the last time. This Physicians for Human Rights report from 1998 probably is a decent preview of some of what's going to happen.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Mix Islam and a tribal culture and what do you think will happen?

MikeR said...

After twenty years there, I for one don't have a clue what the Taliban actually want. My impression was always that they wanted - us to leave. Same as the Soviets, and the British before that.
That was one reason I had approved of George W Bush's apparent decision to mostly ignore them after smashing them up after 9/11. I just didn't picture them as a center of international terror, whatever local awful things they do.

Francisco D said...

Why did we stay there and try to build a nation that could not be built?

Iman said...

What comes next? We may never see what comes next. But we can imagine, and base it on what came before.

Skeptical Voter said...

The call will come for foreign aid. If you want to use a "dog chasing the car" analogy, the Taliban is like a dog that chased a compact car--and caught an 18 wheeler truck. Certainly the older generation of Taliban was able to rule (badly) over most of Afghanistan. But this is a new generation (simply through passage of time) and I doubt they have people with the competence to run a national government. And with the rapid collapse and departure of the putative prior Afghan government they are going to have to do it all on the fly.

So the people of Afghanistan and Afghanistan itself will simply join the crowd of Third World nations that have lousy dysfunctional (and sometimes corrupt) governance. Their hands will be out for foreign aid and assistance.

Yancey Ward said...

The country's economy was 100% driven by the money and goods the Nato coalition poured into it- all that increased prosperity in Kabul the last 20 years was non-organic. I suspect that without all that money and foreign aid, the country can't feed more than half the population that lives there today. The population of the country has almost doubled since we threw out the Taliban in 2001, so I would expect the population to return to the level it was in 2001 there or about. So, expect 10 million+ refugees to flood out, most likely marching to Europe since no one in between is likely to let them stay for very long.

For those that remain, it will return to a subsistance survival scratched out of the ground.

JAORE said...

The heroin market will survive if not thrive. It's the biggest cash crop by far.

The Chinese will secure, perhaps by some up front cash the mining rights for rare earth and other valuable minerals.

Very shortly the girls can go to school, women can work will fade like the morning mist.

Starvation will come to some, mainly those not openly supportive of the local gun lord.

There will be several micro-civil wars as the various factions jockey for power positions.

Foreign aid will flow in for "humanity" reasons. Little will reach the general population. Some of this will be de-facto bribe money.

Music and the arts will dry up. Inclusiveness will be a distant and ironic joke.

The rainbow flag will not fly over the former US embassy.

Michael said...

They are and have been an agricultural economy and will remain so. Opium poppy cultivation will remain a source of state income and will likely flourish under the Taliban which will encourage its growth and put a deeper beak into the profits which generally flow to middlemen and not farmers. Their biggest crop, wheat, might be negatively impacted if poppy growth flourishes which I expect it will. Petroleum is its largest import and landlocked as it is the inflow will depend on how the toll will rise by the Taliban. They have the survival skills of the primitive.

Iman said...

Great to see narciso back!!! And with a great, informed take, as usual!

rcocean said...

"This is about how the country will fare in the hands of the Taliban."

Don't know where this hatred of Muslims or the average Afghani comes from. I wish them well, and I see no evidence they're full of hatred of Americans or want to take Afghanistan back to the stone age. I'm sure they'll be more religious than the US back Government. But with no war going on, they'll be able to concentrate on getting their population food and clothing.

Strange that people: The USA, the russians, the Brits, etc. keep invading this poor country in the middle of nowhere. when has afghanistan ever invaded anyone?

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...

Please stay on topic. This isn't the place to discuss Biden, the evacuation, or the stranded Americans.

This is about how the country will fare in the hands of the Taliban. The concern here is for the Afghan people. If you don't share that concern, look for a different post to comment on. This is for people who actually feel empathy for the Afghan people, who have had the government they relied on suddenly stripped away.


As I said before, people who are capable of voting for someone like Joe Biden just don't give a shit about anyone else.

They are not really much different than the taliban.

They think telling people to wear a completely useless mask to stop Covid is fun.

cfs said...

Next? The U.S. taxpayers send cash! Lots and Lots of cash!

Gospace said...

I was going to say it, but I scrolled down and saw Drago said it at 11:22.

Mr Wibble said...

when has afghanistan ever invaded anyone?

Historically? All the time. The reason the Brits and Russians invaded was because Afghani tribes would ride out of the mountains and raid surrounding regions. Russians, Persians, Indians, etc. all had long histories of fighting them. The Brits were told all of this and feared that the Afghans would be a threat to their control of India. The Russians have long held historical animosity towards regions which threaten Russian peoples and sought to build a buffer states.

Every great power eventually runs into the Afghan problem: what to do about the savages at the edge of civilization.

Rt41Rebel said...

Y'all keep calling it "Foreign Aid." I prefer the more accurate term "Hostage Ransom."

madAsHell said...

OK— I saw a video yesterday of some poor fellow being hung by his neck from a captured helicopter. Somebody is piloting that craft

Yeah.....I saw that in the NYT's. The caption said it was a picture of the last man to leave Afghanistan, and proof that the Biden's evacuation was a success.

Joe Smith said...

'The rainbow flag will not fly over the former US embassy.'

Or BLM flags for that matter. I guess there's an upside to everything...

BUMBLE BEE said...

When you're in the dumps, don't be silly chumps, just sing along!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvTnWpQpFIs

wildswan said...

The Taliban can sell the arms they seized as a source of income. When that's gone, there's the opium trade. Reality is that they have to make the place work. We can't do it. That should be obvious.

Bunkypotatohead said...

"What happens now that U.S. troops have left Afghanistan?"

On Sept. 11th resident Biden will give a self congratulatory speech about how he finally ended the war. And after Sept. 12th we'll never hear about the place again. Which is how it should be.