Think Tank (5/2023)
(L-R) Prof Amin Saikal and Prof Ang Cheng Guan
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Afghanistan under Taliban Rule: An Emergent Global Security Challenge?
11 Oct 2023

The RSIS Distinguished Public Lecture by Professor Amin Saikal, Visiting Distinguished Fellow at RSIS, NTU; was held on 11 October 2023. Professor Ang Cheng Guan, Associate Dean of RSIS, moderated the lecture titled “Afghanistan under Taliban Rule: An Emergent Global Security Challenge?”

The Taliban rules but the Afghan population suffers. Never before has a group like the erstwhile terrorist Taliban emerged anywhere in the Muslim world. The Taliban’s ethno-centric, gender-apartheid and theocratically ultra-extremist standing places them in a class of their own. They are the first of their kind to possess $7.2 billion worth of modern arms, including an air force courtesy of the US, to build a fully equipped military force of 150,000 troops and a sizeable contingent of suicide bombers, while reversing all the pro-liberalist changes that the country forged during the two-decade-long US and allied intervention in Afghanistan. The group has systematically engaged in restructuring the country’s entire political, social, cultural and educational landscape into their image. Their return to power and ideological and policy dispositions have certainly been a shot in the arm for other like-minded violent extremist groups – most importantly, Al Qaeda and ISIS – to emulate the group’s success. These developments have alarmed the United Nations to the extent that it recently issued a warning about the danger of rising terrorism from Afghanistan as a critical global security challenge.

This lecture addressed three issues: the circumstances under which the Taliban reassumed power; the nature, ideology and governing methods of the group; and the national and global security implications of the group in power.

Watch the Distinguished Public Lecture here:


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