Framing America’s Retreat and the Taliban Takeover.
A Cross-Cultural Perspective

It is with a sense of unease, embarrassment, and disorientation that America and the West are preparing to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Just months ago, many would look at the approaching date as the occasion to not only look back at one of the West’s most prominent tragedies, but also to finally mark its renewed unity, in the proud name of democracy and multilateralism, after years of strained transatlantic relations in the midst of the Trump “turbulence”.

It will be nothing of the kind, however. The climax of tension, disorder, and loss of control by which the new White House has led the planned retreat from America’s “longest war” in Afghanistan – to a disgraceful restitution of the country to the Taliban – has damaged its international credibility so heavily, that the doubts being raised this month across all world governments, as well as non-State actors and movements, may well redefine their strategies for years to come.

In this Dossier, we begin to take a look at how this redefinition of objectives, perceptions of margins for geopolitical manoeuvre, and balance of power is taking root. In the distinctive style of ResetDOC, we do so through a comparative look at the great Afghan turnaround from different cultural and geographic viewpoints: through the lens of America, Europe, China, Turkey, as well as Muslim powers and movements.

Enjoy the read.


Cover Photo: US President Joe Biden leaves the East Room after delivering its comments on the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan – August 16, 2021 (Brendan Smialowski / AFP).



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