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Opinion: A kinder, gentler Taliban?

The fall of Kabul to the Taliban is being compared, ad nauseam, to the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese in 1975. Both retreats certainly share some common features — the botched, chaotic evacuation, the abandonment of many US allies on the ground, and the humiliation of the American superpower. But a closer analogue to what is likely to happen in Afghanistan during the coming weeks is to look at what the Taliban did the last time they swept into power in Kabul in September 1996.

The fall of Kabul to the Taliban is being compared, ad nauseam, to the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese in 1975. Both retreats certainly share some common features — the botched, chaotic evacuation, the abandonment of many US allies on the ground, and the humiliation of the American superpower. But a closer analogue to what is likely to happen in Afghanistan during the coming weeks is to look at what the Taliban did the last time they swept into power in Kabul in September 1996.

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