Summary

Many believed that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was only a matter of time, but few thought it would happen this quickly following a US pullout. Here is a rundown of what a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan means for US foreign policy and the geopolitics of a highly strategic region:

 

Impact

Recognition: the million-dollar question

As yet no one knows the level of diplomatic recognition that will be extended to the Taliban regime, and this is a variable that carries significant geopolitical consequences. After two decades of war, it follows that the Taliban would prefer widespread recognition, as the alternative – relative isolation – leaves the regime dependent on regional players that are more liable to be pursuing their own agendas; i.e., Pakistan. Thus, there is some leverage here for NATO countries, namely the United States, which itself will be desperate to extract something resembling a win from its colossal…

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