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Terrorism’s Staging Ground: Afghanistan’s Crisis Continues to Unfold

Since the U.S. withdrawal in 2021, Afghanistan’s future hangs in the balance. Following the Taliban’s rapid takeover, Afghanistan has witnessed a resurgence of extremist groups, including ISIS-K and factions linked to Al-Qaeda. These groups have exploited the power vacuum left by the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition forces, regrouping and expanding their operations within Afghan territory. The continued presence of the Taliban not only threatens the prosperity of Afghanistan but also raises alarms about terrorists’ ability to launch attacks beyond Afghan borders.

In an effort to amplify the perspectives that often go unheard amidst the clamor of contentious politics and media narratives, I invited former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Beth Bailey to discuss her thoughts on the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan. Beth is currently the co-founder and host of The Afghanistan Project podcast, where she continues to explore the convergence of geopolitical interests, terrorism, and the plight of the Afghan people. In the following interview, Beth explains where our assessments went wrong and why Afghanistan continues to be an attractive sanctuary for terrorist organizations despite international agreements.  

We also discuss the appeal of the Taliban to recruits and the ongoing human rights violations in the country, with an emphasis on the terrorist group’s repressive policies against women.

Learn more about The Afghanistan Project:


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About Jessica Lauren Walton: Jessica is a communications strategist, video producer, and writer in the U.S. defense sector. She has written articles on a range of security and mental health topics and conducted interviews with military leadership, CIA officers, law enforcement, psychologists, filmmakers, and more. Jessica recently completed her memoir about her experience as an American woman struggling with mental illness while trying to get into Israeli intelligence.

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