Analysis: Taliban hard-line path worsens Afghanistan dilemma

The Taliban are reminiscing of their harsh rule in 1990s Afghanistan, and have begun to erase some of the gains made over the past 20 years. They have denied women a place in the Cabinet, beat journalists to silence, and enforced their strict interpretation of Islam, sometimes violently.

Analysis: Taliban hard-line path worsens Afghanistan dilemma

Yet, there is little that the international community can do to change it.

The world must engage with the Taliban at some point, despite the disappointment of the new all-Taliban Cabinet which defied earlier promises that it would be inclusive.

To evacuate Americans from Afghanistan, the U.S. requires Taliban cooperation. This is to defeat an Islamic State affiliate that has become more brazen. It is considered to be the most terrorist threat to America. The IS flag was seen in several areas of Nangarhar, an eastern province.

The world is scrambling for help as a humanitarian crisis threatens millions of Afghans. Qatar regularly flies in medical supplies and food. Pakistan announced that it will send planeloads of aid for Afghanistan.

Nearly one-third of Afghanistan's population has been helped by a $606 million UN emergency appeal. Due to drought, displacement and an increase in hostilities since the Taliban's victory last month, they are in urgent need.

According to the U.N report, almost half of the population required humanitarian assistance before the Taliban tookover and over half of children below 5 years old were likely to suffer from acute malnutrition.

The economic problems are severe. The majority of Afghans live on less that $2 per day. 80% of Afghanistan's budget has been covered by international funds in the last 20 years. No industries of note have developed to provide employment for a large population of young people. Tens of thousands have fled Afghanistan, many of whom are members of the educated elite.

The Taliban, despite their dependence on international support, sent a message this week to their Cabinet that they plan to rule Afghanistan on their terms. They chose a government made up of veterans from their 1990s rule and subsequent insurgency against the U.S.-led coalition. Their Cabinet also includes ex-Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Perhaps the most striking appointment is Sirajuddin Haqqani who was wanted by the FBI to be interrogated in connection with several fatal attacks.

In a new effort to silence dissent, they also banned protests without authorization and reportedly banned certain women's sports.

It would appear that the Taliban want it both ways. They would prefer to rule Afghanistan according to their strict interpretation of Islam while still allowing some cooperation from the international community.

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