Two years following the Taliban’s return to power in Kabul, the now prevailing ecosystem of the so-called Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – the old name of Taliban’s government from the 1990s, continues to hold significance for the international community, particularly its neighbouring states. While there is little opposition to the Taliban’s control, the transition from insurgency to governance has further solidified its near-absolute control. Despite levels of violence in the country actually going down by early 2023, this era following the US withdrawal is marked by regional, strategic, tactical, and ideological rivalries and fractures are playing out both on the ground and perhaps more significantly, in the digital realm.
Online Ideological Warfare
In the post-US exit period, the Taliban has sought to solidify its political systems despite facing internal challenges over power-sharing dynamics. These have been communicated by the group predominantly using their X accounts (formerly known as Twitter). While the Taliban may have a monopoly over political power in Afghanistan, ideological debates are playing out between them, Islamic State Khorasan (ISKP) and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Many of these arguments are also taking place online via new publications pushed through by these groups and their supporters. This has led to a revival of online propaganda of this kind, specifically at a time when much media and scholarly attention has moved towards...
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