ICCT’s Key Publications on Taliban’s Capture of Afghanistan

On the 15th of August 2021, the capital city of Afghanistan, Kabul, was captured by the Taliban. Many questions were raised in the aftermath of this event. What form would the Taliban’s aspirations take? What could be the security implications for Afghan citizens and neighbouring states? Would Afghanistan again become a safe-haven for terrorists? To unravel these pertinent questions, read some of ICCT’s key publications on the matter over this past year: 

1️⃣ Questions related to Al-Qaedas future leadership have been a significant discussion amongst scholars. United States drone strike resulted in the death of Al-Qaeda’s leader, Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, so what could the groups future leadership look like? In this insightful Perspective, Tricia Bacon and Elizabeth Grimm develop a leadership framework and argue how al-Zawahiri’s foundational steps could now potentially lead to different outcomes for the group.  

2️⃣The United States withdrew its troops from Afghanistan on 30th of August 2021. This resulted in the Taliban gaining a quick seize of control over both the country and large quantities of small arms and light weapons (SALW) left behind. In this Policy Brief, Tanya Mehra, Méryl Demuynck, and Matthew Wentworth explore the purposes for which the Taliban use these newly acquired ‘spoils of war’ 

3️⃣Counter-Terrorism After 9/11 is a podcast series exploring how counter-terrorism has changed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Ambassador Roya Rahmani is an Afghan diplomat and the first woman to serve this role to the United States and Indonesia. Amb. Rahmani was interviewed by ICCT’s Senior Project Manager, and Editor-in-Chief of the ICCT Journal, Dr. Joana Cook. Learn more about Amb. Rahmani’s experiences as a diplomat and what the future holds for Afghanistan, here. 

4️⃣The Kabul Airport Attack of 26th August 2021 had left a very short window until 31th August 2021 to evacuate all international troops and the thousands of Afghan civilians. With the Taliban resisting armed forces, the international community needed to address critical points concerning regional responses and security threats. In this Perspective, Tanya Mehra and Matthew Wentworth inspect these security implications and reveal what role might geopolitical interests play in countries protecting their interests.   

5️⃣Kabul’s take over by the Taliban held a major blow to the global counter-terrorism efforts being made. It highlighted the group’s resurgence and foreshadowed the chaos to come in the urgent evacuation of foreign nationals from Afghanistan. Tanya Mehra and Julie Coleman, in this Perspective, shed light on what aspirations could the Taliban have for gaining recognition and possible threats to the international and national security when speaking of Afghan citizens.