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Why Afghanistan Isn’t Taiwan

Taliban fighters stand guard in a vehicle along the roadside in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war. AFP

By Hugo Jones and Lukas Fiala

This week the world watched in real-time the Afghan government collapse, the Taliban’s rapid capture of Kabul, and scenes of abandonment at the capital’s airport. Afghans clinging on to a U.S. Air Force plane in a desperate bid to flee the country as the Taliban proclaimed the Islamic Caliphate of Afghanistan, painfully remind us of the limits of liberal internationalism. While the West ponders over what went wrong, why costly military assistance did not have the desired effect, millions of Afghans fear for their lives and future in a repressive, Taliban-led regime.

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