header
South Asia

Watch | 'It Is Better to a Have a Political Settlement That Includes the Taliban'

Happymon Jacob in conversation with Tamanna Salikuddin, director of South Asia programs at the United States Institute of Peace, on the looming crisis in Afghanistan, post-US withdrawal.

Happymon Jacob discusses the looming crisis in Afghanistan after the US’s withdrawal with Tamanna Salikuddin, director of South Asia programs at the United States Institute of Peace.

Salikuddin provides a succinct assessment of the 20-year-long US war on terror in Afghanistan, its consequences and the unfolding implications. She highlights the US successes in counterterrorism while acknowledging failures vis-à-vis the larger goal of nation-building. Her prognosis of the Afghan scenario post US withdrawal is grim.

On Taliban’s evolution over the past two decades, she maintains that they are not a monolith, and finds them militarily stronger, economically more resilient, and diplomatically deft but no less puritanical or regressive in their social outlook. She argues that a political settlement that includes the Taliban and other actors presents the best case scenario for Afghanistan, failing which the country could descend into chaos.