Afghanistan's long history of foreign powers occupying its territory is about to conclude another chapter with the impending withdrawal of NATO and U.S. troops. The future of Afghanistan after this milestone is anyone's guess, but history has shown that given many of the current indicators, the potential for civil war is high. The foremost catalyst for civil war are the Taliban, who were ousted by the allied forces in 2001. The efforts to provide the country with adequate security have been hampered by challenges including inadequate or incomplete training, corruption, economic disparity, factional divisions among ethnic groups, violence, and limited progress of human rights, healthcare, and infrastructure development.
Through extensive research of reports from nongovernmental agencies, NATO, the World Bank, and various news media sources, the progress made can be summarized to assess the current state of affairs in Afghanistan, highlighting where the risks lie for peace and progress in 2015 and beyond.
Famously precipitating the end of the cold war, Soviet occupation of Afghanistan ended in 1989. Following their exit internal struggles for power erupted which eventually led to the installation of the Taliban government. By 1996, the Taliban had managed to gain control of 90% of the country and ruled the land under their interpretation of Wahhabism (an interpretation of Islam) and Sharia Law (based upon that interpretation) which portrayed the Taliban as being extremist. Additionally, the Taliban's ties to the terrorist group, al Qaeda, was cause for alarm for parties across the globe, particularly the United States, whom al Qaeda had named as a direct enemy. (Bajoria, 2011) .
Shortly after the September 11th attacks on U.S. soil in 1991, the United States and NATO removed the Taliban from power and Hamid Karzai was installed as the new leader of Afghanistan.
The Taliban Influence.