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The US Withdrawal from Afghanistan Portends a Vacuum and Uncertain Future (INSS)

Yoram Schweitzer and Oded Eran write for INSS: The impending United States withdrawal from Afghanistan fulfills the goals of the three administrations prior to the Biden administration to end the US role as liberator, policeman, and funder of this divided and riven country, which it entered following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The American offensive in Afghanistan achieved its initial objectives, attacking al-Qaeda and toppling the Taliban regime, but subsequently the US failed to prevent the Taliban’s regaining power. The United States has vowed to respond harshly if it is attacked on its territory again, but Afghanistan’s neighbors are looking toward the future with concern given the vacuum left by the withdrawal. Furthermore, the narrative that will be disseminated by the Taliban and al-Qaeda alike about the victory of the fundamentalist Islamic muqawama (resistance) over a superpower could be a source of inspiration to other organizations in various regions, including in the Middle East. Israel and its allies in the West should prepare for the possibility that Afghanistan will return to being a base for global terrorism and a model for emulation.

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