The Taliban’s Real Challenge Begins Now

Mehdi-Jalalddin Hakimi

(This opinion essay was first published for Bloomberg Law on September 3, 2021.)

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has marked another chapter in the country’s turbulent history. The military triumph, while unexpected and fragile, is the easy part of the battle for Afghanistan. The Taliban face a more formidable challenge: the battle for the hearts and minds of the people.

Afghanistan has changed dramatically since the last time the insurgent group wielded power. Indeed, most Afghans have little or no memory of their brutal regime between 1996 and 2001. The Taliban must now demonstrate that they have learned from history and are willing and able to govern in a way that garners legitimacy at home and abroad.

(Continue reading the opinion essay on the Bloomberg Law’s page here.)