Afghanistan face famine and harsh Taliban rule
Photo: Ahmad Seddiqi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

US Intelligence predicts “humanitarian catastrophe” and “harsh” Taliban rule for Afghanistan 

A declassified intelligence assessment on the implications of the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, released on 5 December by the US National Intelligence Council, predicts that through 2025, Afghanistan will remain isolated from the international community and only international aid can help its population avoid countrywide famine.

The Taliban, the report predicts, “will be more engaged internationally than it was during its previous rule,” and that “it will largely ignore external pressure to alter its fundamental governing approach” and the group will “use harsh tactics to maintain control of the population.”

The Taliban, the report says, will remain united and “broadly in control of the country,” adding that it will ignore external pressures to change its ways and governing methods. The group will, the report states, “roll back much of the last two decades’ social and civic liberalization.” 

Women at university
Most of what many feared about the Taliban’s return to power have become reality. Photo: Getty Images

Since its return to power in August 2021, the Taliban has imposed severe restrictions on women and girls ‘rights in particular; banning them from secondary schools, universities and work in most professions. It has also brought back public punishments. On 7 December 2022, the group carried out its first public execution, watched in person by some of its senior leaders. Public floggings have frequent occurrences.

The US intelligence report predicts that worsening humanitarian conditions will result in high internal population displacement, with external migration being depended on “regional permissiveness,” who will try to narrow their interests in keeping Afghanistan’s problems limited to within its borders.