Headline RoundupAugust 15th, 2022

Reflecting on the Taliban's Afghanistan Takeover, 1 Year Later

AllSides Summary

It's been one year since the Taliban took over Afghanistan and the U.S. ended its two-decade effort to democratize the country.

A year later, Afghanistan remains highly unstable. Despite pledges from the new Taliban government to make women "very active within our society," girls have been prevented from going to school in some cases, and "underground schools" have emerged as a result. Per capita income in the country is roughly $375 per year, its lowest point in more than a decade. The United Nations says that roughly 20 million Afghans are facing food insecurity.

Terrorism remains a concern as well. The assassination of al Qaeda's leader in a wealthy Kabul, Afghanistan neighborhood two weeks ago sparked questions about whether the Taliban was harboring terrorist groups. Meanwhile, U.S. officials continue to negotiate with the Taliban on releasing billions in foreign-held Afghan central bank assets.

In their reflections on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban's takeover, voices from left-rated media outlets often focused more on human rights concerns in Afghanistan, such as widespread hunger, the treatment of women, and the targeting of political dissidents. Right-rated voices tended to concentrate on criticisms of Biden's handling of the situation and concerns that Afghanistan's instability will enable the emergence of powerful terrorist groups.

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