How did it all go wrong? Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, a leading scholar of Afghanistan, joins Damir and Shadi to dissect the Taliban's victory and discuss what it tells us about the failures of America's nation-building effort. Why did the Afghan government collapse so quickly? Have the technocrats and NGOs in the democracy promotion industry been completely discredited? And for the sake of the Afghan people, should we now help the Taliban succeed in governing the country? Things get heated.
Murtazashvili is director of the Center for Governance and Markets and associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of Informal Order and the State in Afghanistan. She lived in Afghanistan for 3 years, conducting fieldwork in rural villages across the country, and previously worked at the US Agency for International Development and the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit.
Jen Murtazashvili in the Washington Post
"Afghanistan is not the Balkans," by Thomas Barfield (ResearchGate)
Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History, by Thomas Barfield (Amazon)
Nassim Taleb on the Taliban's refusal to deadlift
"When Terrorists and Criminals Govern Better Than Governments," by Shadi Hamid, Vanda Felbab-Brown, and Harold Trinkunas (The Atlantic)