Analysis: the west tried to impose its alien values and it is time to try a new approach, as Joe Biden has indicated

Some years ago, in Afghanistan, the anthropologist Scott Atran asked a Taliban fighter what it would take to stop the fighting, because families on both sides were crying. The fighter replied: “Leave our country and the crying will stop.”

The crying may not have stopped, but the Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan without an air force, heavy arms or expensive training, against US-backed Afghan government forces that outnumbered them four to one. In doing so, they have taken an important step closer to realising their stated goal, which is the creation of an Islamic emirate governed according to their interpretation of sharia law.

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