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Who’s in Charge of Afghanistan?

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With the collapse of the U.S.-supported Afghan government, there’s a question many countries will have to face soon: Whom should we recognize as the government of Afghanistan?

The last time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001, only three countries recognized it as the legitimate government of the country: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan. Most of the rest of the world recognized the Islamic State of Afghanistan, the government established in 1992, as the government-in-exile.

The government-in-exile approach seems less likely this time around. This time, the defeat of the Afghan government is seen by many as a clear defeat for the United States. Adversaries of the United States may want to recognize the Taliban government to register their opposition to American influence.

According to an August 15 story from the Washington Examiner, “China has been laying the groundwork to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, flying in the face of the U.S. warning the group about isolation from the international community.”

A spokesman for Vladimir Putin said yesterday that, “We think that the Taliban’s dominance, the de facto rise to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan and them taking most over the country under their control is de facto an accomplished process,” hinting........

© National Review

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