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What happens when you win the war - Issue #323

Who can forget the invasion of Afghanistan in the months after 9/11 or the ignoble end to it in August 2021?

Some of the stories coming out of Afghanistan since then have been truly frightening. Like this one about an eight year old separated from his parents in the scrum outside of the airpot. The parents made it out. There have been some really troubling stories about people forced to endure the abrupt ending of their freedom in society.

But the piece linked to below has stayed in my mind since I read it a few months back. What are the victors up to? Not the commanders and leaders, but the people who fought against the US and have since been swept into running the government. The story of the people who went from being lifelong fighters into civil service is a big part of what is happening now.

What happens when you win the war? It's a little like winning an election: now, you have to govern.


New Lives in the City: How Taleban have experienced life in Kabul

A large number of Taleban fighters have moved to Afghanistan’s cities since the movement’s capture of power, many of them seeing life in the city for the first time in their lifetime. These fighters, many of whom are from villages, had lived modest lives, entirely focused on the war. Their circumstances have changed entirely since the Taleban’s victory.