I believe that one very important element was that the structure of the Afghan army, which we had built up, could not withstand the Taliban attack. It was not a matter of force since the Afghan official armed forces were far larger than the Taliban units, their armament was much better, but they lacked the willingness to fight.
Is the time when the USA interferes in other states conflicts to «establish peace» over now?
I believe so. The situation in Afghanistan was the final and very serious blow against that mentality. The idea of bringing along fundamental and principal changes in other societies is now completely off the table. US Foreign Secretary Anthony Blinken emphasized that strategic opponents, which generally means China and Russia, were frequently happy over the US forces being stuck in Afghanistan and the present move allows for taking a more efficient stand against these large strategic opponents with nuclear as well as conventional armament.
Is it therefore possible that the forces in some structures will change?
The entire mentality is changing and has been doing so for a couple of years. When the new US concept of defense was announced, they no longer outlined terrorism as the main enemy but the large rivals of the US. We know who these rivals are. But this requires the reorganization of the forces structure, rearrangement of armament. There is considerable difference between deterring the massive Russian army or individual fighters of the Taliban.
Has the US position changed in the opinion of other countries?
It is definitely an image problem for the USA in the short term. In the long term – we are talking about the United States of America with defense spending seven or eight times larger than in any other country; their political power is immense.
What will happen to the civilians who could not escape from the country?
The most complicated situation concerns those who have criticized the Taliban in public, who have closely cooperated with the lawful Afghan government and have supported the Western defense forces in Afghanistan. This situation need not concern very much a regular Afghan resident who has had no contacts with politics or government affairs, but we have to keep in mind that women's rights will receive a strong blow all over Afghanistan. And we must consider the dramatic situation where the Western allies have been in the country for twenty years and there are whole generations of young people who will find the situation totally shocking, since they have never lived under the Taliban regime and they have grown used to all the advantages created by a civilized and democratic society, including education and everything else.
What will be the foreign political impact of the Taliban's triumph in Afghanistan?
It will change the dynamics of the whole region. The Western presence was a center of gravity which allowed the West exert influence on the region. Now as the Unites States is no longer present, regional great powers will enter the stage. Pakistan, which is often accused of supporting the Taliban, Iran, India, which is concerned with the Pakistani influence in Afghanistan, and naturally Russia and China. As said, the USA loses its direct ability to influence the situation in Afghanistan. The risk of terrorists surfacing there is highly likely.