West shouldn’t allow himself to be blackmailed by his assistant syndrome
The US wants to meet the Taliban in Qatar later this week. There aren’t many levers to influence radical Islamists. But it cannot be that the welfare of the Afghans is more important to the West than the new rulers.
IThe US on Saturday night announced a meeting with the Taliban in Qatar later this week. Following the Taliban victory and the West’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, it is taking place under completely different circumstances than the talks of both the Trump and Biden governments with radical Islamists over the past three years. The West has lost much of its advantage in influencing the Taliban. The task now is to find out how much humanitarian aid the West is willing to provide in return for the concessions made by the Taliban.
The interests are very different. The West seeks to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe and destabilization of the region through an influx of refugees. At the same time, they want to use the aid as a lever to force the Taliban to adopt a more inclusive government and respect human rights, especially women and ethnic minorities. The Taliban, on the other hand, wants to concentrate power in their own hands as much as possible, hold on to their anti-feminist ideology and give as much help as possible for their own purposes to consolidate their power. They also have credibility problems because they have failed to keep past agreements with the US.
The West must make aid distributions subject to verifiable conditions. And he shouldn’t allow himself to be blackmailed by his own helper syndrome. Because one thing should be clear: since the Taliban took power, they have been responsible for the well-being of the Afghan people – not overseas. That’s why the Taliban have to answer a simple question during talks in Qatar: How many compromises are you willing to make in your radical Islamic ideology to reduce the need and hunger of the Afghan people? Because it cannot be that the welfare of the Afghans is more important to us in the West than the new rulers in Kabul.
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