Ibraheem Bahiss

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Taliban acting Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 2022. Ali Khara / Reuters

A chilling fact could get lost in the heated news coverage about the killing of al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri: the firebrand cleric was only one of many threats lurking in Afghanistan and no one has much of a plan for dealing with the security concerns arising from this volatile country. The U.S. drone strike that killed Zawahiri in Kabul on July 31 has been hailed as a counterterrorism victory, but triumphalism would be a profound error. One of al Qaeda’s top strategic minds is now dead after living on the Taliban’s doorstep, and Western officials are still wondering how they can mitigate the many other ways that the Taliban regime may prove dangerous for the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

A vendor (2R) selling Taliban flags waits for customers next to a large Taliban flag in Kabul on 24 September 2021. Hoshang Hashimi / AFP

What do the new appointments signify?

On 22 September, the Taliban published several new appointments, including at ministerial levels. The announcement came a day after the Chinese, Russian and Pakistani envoys met with the head of the Taliban government, Mullah Hassan Akhund, calling for more inclusive governance. The list of new appointees very slightly broadens the new government’s makeup, as the interim administration is no longer composed entirely of Taliban stalwarts. Most of the new appointees either have no prior affiliation with the group or are not prominent members of it. Key appointees such as the ministers for trade and public health, and their deputies, do not appear to have past affiliations with the Taliban.…  Seguir leyendo »