Taliban Views on a Future State
Few if any Taliban leaders say they want to re-establish the Islamic Emirate or revive the policies that drew the world’s opprobrium upon them when they controlled the Afghan state in the 1990s.That is the conclusion drawn in this report by Borhan Osman of the Afghanistan Analysts Network and Anand Gopal, author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes from interviews with members of the Taliban’s political wing and analysis of the movement’s official publications. The main grievance the Taliban articulate is the continued presence in Afghanistan of the military forces that overthrew their government to punish them for a crime for which, in their view, they bare no responsibility, the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. Their objections to the current constitution refer more to the power arrangements that it legitimates than its actual content. Those Taliban with whom the authors spoke noted that the fighters might find it hard to access a compromise outcome. Pakistan, which hosts the Taliban leadership, has a separate agenda. Many on all sides continue to enrich themselves from the war and the lawlessness it generates. The obstacles to a political settlement are enormous, but, this study argues, mainly for reasons other than the Taliban’s commitment to an extremist form of government.