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What just happened in Afghanistan? And what comes next?

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(Photo by Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Thousands of Afghans rush to the Hamid Karzai International Airport as they try to flee the Afghan capital of Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 16, 2021.

Afghanistan now faces a grave humanitarian crisis and the likelihood of civil war, according to Julie Garey, an assistant teaching professor of political science who specializes in U.S. foreign policy. 

Widespread poverty, inadequate access to education and healthcare, and violence threaten the lives of nearly 40 million people, she adds. What’s happening now could force millions of people to flee, endangering themselves, the future of Afghanistan, and the region more broadly as neighboring countries seek to address and support refugees.

Max Abrahms, an associate professor of political science who focuses on international security, says that for Afghanistan’s future, there’s no expectation that the Taliban will chart a new course as it is called upon to govern. “I would suggest looking at Afghanistan in terms of more continuity than change,” says Abrahms, author of Rules for Rebels: The Science of Victory in Militant History.

News@Northeastern spoke to Garey and Abrahms for their take on the path ahead. Their comments have been condensed and edited for brevity and clarity.

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

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