The situation in Afghanistan today, September 5, 2021

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The Situation in Afghanistan


Ángeles Espinosa (Islamabad), “Los talibanes carecen de estructuras tres semanas después de la toma de Kabul; El retraso en anunciar Gobierno, la resistencia en el Panshir y los problemas en el aeropuerto de la capital retrasan la ayuda necesaria para salir adelante,” El País, el 6 de setiembre 2021(03:14 CET).(7:14 a.m. in Islamabad).

Ångeles Espinosa reports from Islamabad on the external challenges facing the Taliban leadership in naming a government. The announcement, originally expected Fiday, September 3, has been repeatedly pushed back. The Taliban are faced not only with overcoming their internal divisions, but also the immense challenges of providing food to the population and keeping the machinery of government working.

To meet the latter challenges they must satisfy the demands of foreign governments, international donors, and other international actors. The latter are demanding guarantees regarding human rights and the rights of women, many of which are at odds with basic tenets of the medieval Islamic ideology the Taliban have in the past espoused.

The interplay of these factors undoubtedly represents a huge challenge to the Taliban leadership, which faces famine and a humanitarian disaster if problems with the international actors are not resolved.

Biden’s Geostrategic Catastrophe

Clemens Wergin, the chief foreign correspondent of Die Welt, has written a devastating analysis of the broader strategic consequences of Biden’s catastrophic decision to withdraw from Afghanistan.


Clemens Wergin, “Afghanistan steht für westlichen Niedergang – Wankelmütig, schwach, unzuverlässig,” Die Welt, den 5. September 2021.

Long after the glib commentaries on cable news and in American newspapers, mostly by individuals with no deep understanding of Afghanistan and the geopolitical consequences of Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, sober analyses by knowledgeable experts such as Wergin will be what foreign policy experts and historians consider to be serious commentary.

The Trenchant Observer

The Trenchant Observer has been following Afghanistan closely since 2005, when he worked in Kabul as the Team Leader of group of six civilian lawyers charged with advising the government on modernizing its criminal justice
process to better meet international human rights standards.

The Trenchant Observer is an international lawyer with a historian’s eye.  A former Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where he received the degree of Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law (S.J.D.), he is also a summa cum laude graduate of Stanford University, where as an undergraduate he received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the Best Senior Honors Thesis in History.