The Taliban’s Takeover In Afghanistan


Dylan Blackwell, Reporter

What’s happening?

Afghanistan is now under control of the Taliban, a fundamentalist group who were driven out of the country in 2001 by US troops. The population of Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, has swelled, with many people trying to evacuate through the airports. 


The Taliban entered the capital on August 15, ending a 20-year effort by Western nations, including the US, to remodel Afghanistan into a democracy. Because of a plague of desertions by the Afghan military and losing air cover, the Taliban took over Kabul and overthrew the government. Airports have been closed and any planes caught trying to leave the country have been shot down.


What are the Taliban planning to do?

It is not completely clear what will happen to Afghanistan, but the Taliban say that they are planning to hold talks with the Afghan officials to form an “open, inclusive Islamic government.” They also say that they will respect women’s rights, “within the framework of Islamic law.” The Taliban has suggested continuing the government they had in the first takeover, just imposing a less harsh version of Sharia law.


What will happen to those stuck in Afghanistan?

Because airports are closed, tens of thousands of people are still stuck in Afghanistan. More than 300,000 Afghans who have been associated with helping the US during and after the first Taliban takeover happened from 1996 to 2001. 2,000 of these people are scheduled to be evacuated by the US before the end of August, and others can apply for visas out of the country. 


What is the US doing to help?

President Joe Biden and other US officials have spoken many times about the situation in Afghanistan. On the 16th, Biden authorized up to $500 million in US aid to support the needs of refugees and others that could be “at risk as a result of the situation in Afghanistan”. The Biden Administration has also been negotiating with multiple countries in the Middle East and Central Asia to temporarily take in and host refugees until the US can resettle them.