New Taliban Rulers Face Tough Economic, Security Challenges

Taliban officials are interviewed by journalists inside the Hamid Karzai International Airport after the U.S. withdrawal in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. The Taliban were in full control of Kabul's international airport on Tuesday, after the last U.S. plane left its runway, marking the end of America's longest war. (AP Photo/Kathy Gannon)

(AP) — Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers face tough economic and security challenges as they return to power in a country that is vastly different from the one they left 20 years ago. When they last ruled in the late 1990s, Afghanistan was a poor, agricultural nation, and the Taliban were preoccupied with imposing their harsh brand of Islam

This time, they’re inheriting a more developed society with a small middle class, but also an economy that has been devastated by war and corruption. Even before the Taliban overran Kabul on Aug. 15, the jobless rate was more than 30% and more than half of Afghans lived in poverty.


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