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Political Scientist: Afghanistan Has Become Vietnam 2.0

In this photo provided by the French Defense Ministry, French soldiers prepar...

Credit: Etat-Major des Armees

Above: In this photo provided by the French Defense Ministry, French soldiers prepare to board a military Airbus A400M to evacuate French citizens from Afghanistan, Monday, Aug.16, 2021 in Orleans, central France.

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As the Taliban cements its control over Afghanistan, experts warn that instability will continue plague the region for the foreseeable future as terror groups could regroup in the war-torn country.

Aired: August 17, 2021 |

The threat of international terror is on the minds of many Americans following the Taliban's swift seizure of Afghanistan after a hasty exit of U.S. forces.

Erik Gartzke, a political scientist and the founding director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies at UC San Diego, told KPBS Midday Edition that the Taliban's takeover could potentially increase the risk of international terror, but that it's unlikely.

"First of all, they weren't the ones that committed 9/11. They hosted al-Qaida and there was sort of a business relationship between al-Qaida and the Taliban," he said. "The Taliban didn't show any interest in carrying out terrorist attacks abroad."

"They've got their hands full trying to manage a very chaotic situation in which they are now the most capable actor in Afghanistan, but by far not the only one, so they're going to be focusing on trying to assert their authority."

Some leading defense officials have warned of the possibility that terrorist cells could regroup within the country after the Taliban’s takeover. Gartzke said he thinks it's likely the Taliban will tolerate these groups, but that it would be unlikely that they target the United States.

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