‘It was too late to prevent the fall of Kabul’ – Olivier Roy on Afghanistan (RSCAS-EUI, Italy)

“I was not surprised by the collapse of the Afghan national army: it existed mainly on paper, lacked fighting spirit as well as ‘esprit de corps’ and was totally undermined by corruption. I was also not surprised by the collapse of the government, which had never been effective, nor united. What did surprise me, with the temporary exception of Panjshir, was the lack of resistance of the ‘warlord’ militias when defending their territories (such as Herat and Mazar). The reasons are two-fold: firstly, their best members left the field to be involved in business, and secondly, the Taliban had already been negotiating for a long time with local authorities in order to ensure a smooth surrender. In a sense, it is good news because it prevented the return to a full-scale civil war.”

In light of recent events in Afghanistan, Professor Olivier Roy sat down for an interview to discuss the potential impact of the fall of Kabul, the resurgence of the Taliban and the role the EU can play in assisting the country.

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