The mainstream Western media have questioned numerous Taliban assurances that it has changed in the twenty years since it was last in power, especially that it will not take vengeance on its enemies. In particular, there is considerable worry over how a new TalibaN government will treat women.

These are legitimate concerns. However, there is at least the possibility of better times ahead. The West is not the preserve of justice and women’s rights it pretends to be. The Taliban is much more ethnically diverse now than twenty years ago, and may have learned a great deal. It has been for some time the main opposition to a foreign occupation in support of a regime that has become more and more unequal, corrupt and warlike. Reports outside the mainstream suggest far more people in Afghanistan support the new regime than one might think. Nobody can win without significant popular support.

My interest here is the geopolitical implications.

The Taliban victory is obviously a crushing blow to the American/Western world order and signifies the defeat of the “war on terror”. It probably marks the end of “the American century”. The United States still has many military bases around the world. They still have economic and cultural power.  But American democracy has suffered a blow from the controversy revolving around the 6 January uprising at the Capitol. And its society has become increasingly divided along racial, economic and gender lines.

Please click here to read the full “How much does China benefit from the Taliban victory over the United States?” article published at John Menadue, written by Griffith Asia Institute adjunct researcher, Emeritus Professor Colin Mackerras.