The daily reports from Afghanistan continue to paint a dark picture of a collapsing society under a terrorist regime. The reports of continued human rights violations, drug production, terrorist breeding ground expansion, arms smuggling, and the creation of a full-fledged gender apartheid system don’t seem to be noticed in capitals around the globe. All these issues are having a great impact on the nations still heavily involved in Afghan affairs like Pakistan, the U.S., the UK, China, Russia, Iran and the bordering Central Asian states.

Yet, the UK recently sent Robert Dickson, the newly appointed UK Charge d’Affaires for Afghanistan to a public meeting with the Taliban regime’s so-called foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in Kabul. The Taliban quickly exploited the meeting with photographs and a statement that “Dickson said he hopes that ‘ties between Britain and Afghanistan will improve.’”

These are not isolated diplomatic failures. The U.S., China, UN, and other European nations often publicly pose with terror regime members and either unwittingly or naively aid the propaganda efforts of the Taliban and Haqqani terror regime. Every meeting and errant statement of increasing engagement, is one step closer to the official recognition of the terror regime as the Afghanistan government.

Reality Bites

The reality is that the terror regime has no interest in answering the calls of diplomats to form an inclusive and just government that treats all Afghans equally. Diplomatic efforts by non-Afghans alone will not change the status quo. The status quo is not pretty.

A recent study of the arms trafficking issues in Afghanistan reveals the “Taliban have been particularly careful to assert control over remaining stockpiles of US-manufactured M4 and M16 assault rifles, night vision and thermal sights. M4s and M16s are valued at roughly two to three times the price of an AK-pattern assault rifle. Nevertheless, groups allied with the Taliban, including the TTP, continue to gain access to US weaponry. These supply patterns indicate an inability or unwillingness to block these transfers, further complicating relations with Pakistan.”

More edicts continue to come from the Taliban regime to harden their gender apartheid system. The most recent makes women’s beauty salons illegal. This is meant to stop women from gathering and organizing to protect their remaining rights as human beings.

The Taliban are not keeping up any promises made the United States to tamp down terrorism in the country as the most recent UN report notes that Al Qaeda has “safe haven” in Afghanistan and “the relationship between the Taliban and Al Qaeda remained close and symbiotic.”

War crimes committed by a handful of NATO soldiers in Afghanistan continue to be investigated in their home countries, but no serious efforts are being made to investigate the deaths of over 100,000 Afghans at the hands of the Taliban and Haqqani terrorists between 1994 and 2023. The war criminals are in complete control of their victims and survivors of their crimes.

The Taliban and Haqqani destruction of the education system are causing a tidal wave of current problems and future problems. UNICEF just reported that “60 percent of girls and 46 percent of boys of primary school age are currently not attending any level of education.”

Afghans Must Help Themselves (No One Else is Coming)

While some Afghans are traveling around NATO nations asking for military support for various efforts, others are busy attacking each other on social media for perceived slights over long-standing grudges. Others are busy attacking Pakistan for their role in imposing the Taliban regime back on the Afghan people; and yet others, often labeled as traitors, are using deceptive or open lobbying to get other nations to recognize the Taliban regime.

There is only one issue that really matters for Afghans that want to bring human rights and freedom back to Afghanistan, and it is the one that is getting the least amount of attention. That issue is the possible recognition of the terror regime as a legitimate government by foreign nations and the UN.

If the Taliban and Haqqani regime are officially recognized by enough nations, regional bodies, or the UN itself—all hope for a return of a more democratic and human-rights-protecting government are gone. If the Taliban are deemed a legal government, from that moment forward all opposition political or martial will be labeled as a terrorist movement by the regime—and the world will do little to stop the carnage that will be rained on those opposing voices.

While Russia maintains that their relations with the terror regime remain “informal,” the Iranians call for an inclusive Afghan government made up of all ethnic groups—the Chinses and Pakistani officials continue to work out economic and security deals with the regime. The United States and the United Kingdom continue to make formal and off-the-cuff remarks about their views of the Taliban regime that confuse Afghans and further the conspiracy theories about those two nations roles in the downfall of the Afghan republic and ANSDF.

The UN just announced that the next Doha gathering to address Afghanistan will take place before the end of 2023. It is being reported that UNAMA’s political office chief, Scott Smith, is planning to invite the Taliban and Haqqani terror regime to participate. Unless Afghans can create and gain support for a governance council in exile and find a home for it in DC, Geneva, or the Gulf—all signs point towards the final betrayal of the Afghan people by the world, with the formal recognition of the terror regime as a legal government.

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Jason spent 23 years in USG service conducting defense, diplomacy, intelligence, and education missions globally. Now he teaches, writes, podcasts, and speaks publicly about Islam, foreign affairs, and national security. He is a member of the Military Writers Guild and aids with conflict resolution in Afghanistan.