When the Taliban commander exchanges guns for control of power, about 38 million Afghans can do little, but hold their breath and wait for the latest conquerors to rule.
The uncertainty, apparent even with foreign capital from Washington to Beijing, is exacerbated by the deep contradiction between the records of groups of extremism and atrocities during the previous reign of 1996-2001 and today’s promise of moderation. doing.
History may provide some clues. The Taliban, depending on how it counts, is like the sixth or seventh rebel group to take over a country in the early modern period. And while no two are exactly the same, there are certain patterns in how rebels dominate.
Some learn to govern effectively, even to modernize, while others collapse in turmoil and new wars. Some people become cruel in power and blame their subject in fear and anxiety. Others are moderate, but primarily seek legitimacy and foreign aid.
But everything seems to share some features:
Close bureaucratic authoritarianism, although it may allow some political opening. The focus is on controlling or enforcing elements of society that are considered to be tied to the old order, sometimes through extraordinary violence. And the quest for foreign support and awareness that is tense to overcome the Pariah state, which tends to welcome radicals in power.
These habits have a common purpose of integrating authority. It is almost always of utmost concern to rebel rulers who tend to understand that seizing government buildings is not the same as becoming government.
The long-standing process was written by civil war scholar Terence Lions and is shaped by the victor’s need for “postwar legitimacy and integration of power” and “the nature of the victorious rebel group.” ..
Rebels in power tend to quickly turn to a very special kind of government, party-based authoritarianism.
Think of the Chinese Communist Party, a former rebellion that came to power in 1949. They are tightly united, have strict internal hierarchies and practical hands in bureaucracy, but are less tolerant of objections.
Rebels choose this model simply because it is an already organized way.
“Successful rebel groups are political parties, military organizations, and businesses at the same time,” Dr. Lions wrote in a study of how rebels govern.
In power, the discipline and cohesion of rebel groups often makes their government more stable and practical than other types of authoritarianism, and perhaps longer.
Dr. Lions found that they tend to express “ambivalence to democracy, if not hostility,” even though they claim to represent a popular liberation. And their experience in the Zero Sum Contest of War may see them as a threat to peacetime competition (elections, protests, oppositions).
After controlling China, Mao Zedong invited intellectuals, journalists and others to criticize the new government. But, apparently surprisingly, he imprisoned or killed many who accepted his offer.
Still, the government’s capacity for rebel violence can be enormous, but after years of hiding in villages and passes, they are keenly aware of the value of fostering public support.
Many people, especially those representing certain ethnic or religious groups such as the Taliban, continue this practice in power and may want to reassure others.
The rebels who occupied Uganda in 1986 pardoned supporters of the old order. Ethiopian militants, who came to power in 1991, hosted “Peace and Stability Commissions” nationwide to show that they intended to represent everyone. In 1994, when Tutsi militias ruled Rwanda in a genocide of the same family, they promised reconciliation and a pan-national unified government.
All three held elections, but most were for the show, allowing some degree of political freedom within tightly controlled limits.
But there is no mistake. Rebels, as a rule, are wary of sticking to the office with an authoritarian iron grip and losing the power to fight hard to win, and are probably paranoid.
Purge and mass outflow
Rebel governments, weakened by carry-overs from previous administrations, tend to organize much of their early rule over fear of being rejected by their people, even in the face of their own rebellion.
Correspondingly, they often control, enforce, and even chase the entire social class, which is considered to be in line with the old order, which may still control cultural, economic, and governing bureaucracy. I will try to pay.
One of Mao’s first actions was to purge rural landowners, an economically powerful group considered right-wing.
His army rounded up thousands and urged local villagers to eradicate what was left behind. Many were sent to forced labor camps or beaten on the spot and died. Mao estimated the death toll at 2 million, but some historians estimate that number at 200,000.
The violence in Mao’s campaign is rare, but not in scale.
When it came to power in 1959, Cuban revolutionaries revealed that they saw the middle and upper classes, who had greatly supported the old government, as enemies. About 250,000 people fled. Their escape has changed Cuban society forever.
Understand the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan
Who is the Taliban? The Taliban occurred in 1994 in the turmoil after the Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989. They enforced the rules with brutal public punishments such as whiplash, cutting and mass death penalty. Here we will elaborate on the story of their origins and their record as rulers.
The Taliban said it wanted to avoid this in Afghanistan and warned of a “brain drain” if the educated middle class escaped. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated in the last two weeks, so the group hasn’t been in the way, but said they would like to work with the remaining people.
Since the extremes of the Cold War, rebels have learned to live up to the expectations of the international community when rebels have easily won the blessings of superpowers in mass slaughter.
Uganda has shown moderation and inclusion, albeit superficially, to avoid the worst fears of postwar criticism.
The quest for legitimacy to persuade domestic and foreign governments to treat them as legitimate governments usually involves seeking accreditation from social and religious leaders, as well as the losers of the war.
The description of the Taliban’s expansion into Kabul includes such a scene: local leaders and influential people greet the group at an acceptance show.
However, much of the rebels’ focus is often abroad. Approval from foreign powers provides essential legitimacy and assistance for post-civil war reconstruction and can stop the threat of isolation.
Rwandan and Ugandan rebel leaders have promised to sit down with Western diplomats and act as they were told, even though their troops were still fighting for control. ..
The Taliban’s diplomatic outreach was almost relentless, praise Even a long and hostile government like India. International acceptance is not easy for groups with al-Qaeda.
Others definitely faced a colder reception. It took Mao’s government 22 years to secure UN approval, and a few more years to beat the Americans.
The episode is informative. Mao oversaw the world powers, but the weaknesses inherent in the rule of the rebels created the need for deep enough awareness for him to radically change his foreign policy to gain it.