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UArizona professor gives perspective about chaos in Afghanistan

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Posted at 8:18 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 00:01:30-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — As chaos erupts in Afghanistan, the Taliban takes full control of the presidential palace, capital of Kabul and other regions in the country over the weekend.

University of Arizona History professor, David Gibbs says it's a tragedy to see what's happening. Now, Afghans are living in fear and desperate to escape.

“The only thing that kept the government in power was U.S. troops which as they were being withdrawn led to an instantaneous disintegration of the government and victory of the Taliban. Based on past history one would expect a highly repressive regime in Afghanistan,” Gibbs said.

Right now, the United States has U.S. citizens in the region are on high alert as they wait to leave. Meanwhile, Afghans who helped Western allies during the 20-year war are also looking for help as uncertainty grips the country.

“In terms of American influence, it's taken a huge blow because it’s enormously humiliating for the United States. It's not just that the United States fought a way for 20 years and left but left in the most humiliating way possible. Of course, it's going to erode American power in the region. In 2001 the Taliban already were in power and pretty much consolidated their plan or came close to it. They had established control over almost the whole country not quite all of it. Then the United States after the 911 terror attacks overthrew the Taliban, Gibbs said.

Gibbs also says the United States should make sure its next move is solid.

"Two things get out and stay out as quickly as possible and not go back in. Secondly, try and learn from our mistakes in Afghanistan about the dangers of external intervention and the enormous cost on the United States on these interventions,” Gibbs said.