The Taliban do not control Afghanistan and may never will

Steven R. Rothman

People who think they know what will happen in Afghanistan have to put up with their predictions. The Taliban do not yet have complete control over Afghanistan. And the country’s future is far from clear.

There is no unified command over Afghanistan – it is a drug

Elena Suponia, an analyst at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, reports that the Afghan Taliban has no single command. There are other armed groups in Afghanistan that are not willing to obey the Taliban. And regional and other powers will continue to play on these internal differences. In an op-ed to The Washington Post, Elaine Shannon writes that we may also see the emergence of the world’s largest “drug state.” Afghan drug lords “now control 85% of the world’s opium supply” and have branched out into becoming “the world’s largest producer of cannabis” and a growing supplier of methamphetamine. The Afghan Taliban will have to reach an agreement with these drug barons on the existence of their operations and the financing of the Taliban’s stay in power.

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