This article was co-authored by Dr. Saba Sattar, who received her Doctor of Statecraft and National Security from IWP in 2022.
The Taliban will remain the dominant political and military force in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. Any remaining domestic opposition, from either the so-called Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) or the National Resistance Front (NRF) is highly unlikely to challenge the Taliban’s grip on power.
The Taliban faces no immediate external threat from a regional or global power. As Western influence wanes, China’s economic tentacles extend writ large. On the one hand, the lack of political or military alternative to the Taliban regime has compelled regional powers to reckon some form of cooperation short of diplomatic recognition. On the other, the Taliban realizes that its rule is tenuous, particularly as it has failed to improve the socio-economic conditions of Afghans whose plight worsens every day.