Products – The Centre for Independent Studies

Afghanistan on the brink of an abyss

William Maley
01 July 2021 | OP181
Afghanistan on the brink of an abyss

Australia’s recent closure of its embassy in Kabul, and the withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan after 20 years by 11 September 2021, casts a deep shadow over Afghanistan’s future prospects.

In this paper, leading expert on Afghanistan, William Maley, examines the implications of the US withdrawal. He discusses how the ‘peace process’ that was supposed to flow from the US-Taliban agreement of February 2020 went horribly wrong, destroying trust in the United States and weakening the Afghan government. He warns that if the Taliban regain control, Afghanistan faces two risks: theocratic totalitarianism and civil war. He also notes that whilst the United States is confident it can prevent the re-emergence of terrorism in Afghanistan, the spectacle of the US abandoning a long-term moderate Muslim ally risks inspiring and reinvigorating anti-Western extremist groups in other nations.

The paper concludes by pointing to the likelihood of large flows from Afghanistan of vulnerable refugees, arguing that in the kind of environment that is looming no Afghan is safe. These refugees are likely to seek out Western countries where freedom, democracy and human rights are valued, presenting a humanitarian challenge that could overwhelm governments unless timely measures are put in place now.

Latest Publications

Changing the Narrative
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
01 June 2019

Prospectus for the CIS Indigenous Research Program  Despite meaningful intentions by government and NGOs to close the gap, the billions of dollars spent have not achieved their goal. In order to begin to solve the issues faced by Australia’s most marginalised citizens, the narrative must change.  It must become a narrative built on fact, not popular opinion or political correctness.

READ MORE
The End of Chaos? Global Markets in the Information Era
11 November 1999 | OP72

The Sixteenth Annual John Bonython Lecture delivered by Jerry Jordan The 16th Annual John Bonython Lecturer, Dr Jerry Jordan, argues that markets will be at the heart of a 21st century order – an age of markets.

READ MORE
Another Look at the Culture Cringe
L.J. Hulme
07 July 1993 | OP45

The notion of the Australian cultural cringe is one of the myths that undermine the vigour of our social and intellectual life. According to legend, Australian colonials were ‘inert, deferential and passive’ before the overseas powers, especially Britain, but this dismal state of affairs changed for the better during the 1960s and early 1970s. The late L.J. Hume’s painstaking analysis…

READ MORE