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Tags: taliban | military | troops | withdrawal | vacuum | bagram air base

Taliban Cleaning Up Their Image Amid Afghanistan Power Grab

The gates of the now-vacated Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in late June
The gates of the now-vacated Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in late June. (Rahmat Gul/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 06 July 2021 06:02 PM EDT

The Taliban are attempting to rebrand their image as capable governors as they capture new territory in Afghanistan, a sign the group intends to dominate the landscape once the U.S. pulls its military forces out of the country, The New York Times reported.

"The situation is such that it is a testing period for us. Everything done in practice is being watched," Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Taliban deputy commander and the head of the group's most violent wing, told a group of Taliban fighters in a recent broadcast. "Behave in a good way with the general public."

The U.S. has completed 90% of the planned Afghanistan withdrawal and handed over seven facilities to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, the U.S. Central Command announced Tuesday.

The drawdown will not be fully complete until the end of August.

"We're on track exactly as to where we expect to be," President Joe Biden said Friday.

The Taliban have dramatically gained ground in recent days, taking control of 10% of the country, most of them in critical areas, according to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The group now controls 188 of the country's 407 districts and contests 135 others.

"If the Afghan government does not get a handle on the security situation and finds a way to regain control of the north, its tenure may well be measured in weeks or months," Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at FDD, said in a statement Tuesday, Politico reported.

The Taliban, according to the Times, have imposed old Islamist rules in the places they rule, including forbidding women from working or even going outside their homes alone, banning music, and telling men to stop shaving their beards. Residents are also supposed to provide food for Taliban fighters.

The group's response is an attempt to portray insurgents as a comparable action to the Afghan government.

The Taliban do not want to "become the same pariah and isolated state" that Afghanistan was in the 1990s, Ibraheem Bahiss, an International Crisis Group consultant and an independent research analyst, told the Times.

"They're playing the long game," Bahiss said.

Solange Reyner

Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The Taliban are attempting to rebrand their image as capable governors as they capture new territory in Afghanistan, a sign the group intends to dominate the landscape once the U.S. pulls its military forces out of the country, The New York Times reported.
taliban, military, troops, withdrawal, vacuum, bagram air base
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2021-02-06
Tuesday, 06 July 2021 06:02 PM
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