The Narrative Myth that a Taliban Resurgence is New in Afghanistan

Despite a recent slew of headlines implying the contrary, the Taliban gaining ground in Afghanistan is not a new development resulting from the Biden Administration’s recent actions.

  • August 6th, Wall Street Journal: “Taliban Gains Ground in Afghanistan Amid U.S. Troop Withdrawal”
  • August 7th, National Public Radio: “As The Taliban Gain Ground In Afghanistan, The U.S. Remains Focused On Diplomacy”
  • August 8th, New York Times: “The Propaganda War Intensifies in Afghanistan as the Taliban Gain Ground”

These are a few examples of many recent headlines that leave viewers with the impression that a Taliban resurgence is something new. However back in January of 2018 the BBC was reporting the following:

Taliban fighters, whom US-led forces spent billions of dollars trying to defeat, are now openly active in 70% of Afghanistan, a BBC study has found.

Months of research across the country shows that the Taliban now control or threaten much more territory than when foreign combat troops left in 2014.”

While it’s true the Taliban are making additional inroads as of recent in their attempt to gain more control in the country, there’s nothing like a timed political event –the Biden Administration’s looming September 11th deadline, exactly a month away– to awaken reporters to what has been known to Afghans and anyone else paying attention for years.



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