The world watched as the Taliban without tanks and air assets swept through and captured the most of Afghanistan in about 14 days, after withstanding pitch battles from the 20-year dominance of the alliances of the Western coalition forces and their Afghani allies’ firepower and technology superiority. The Taliban’s bloodless capture and occupation of Kabul marked the end of a two-decade America-led concerted effort at political and socio-cultural change of the ancient multiethnic nation. Majority of the liberal world has ever been concerned about the Islamic Shari’a version of governance system and societal behavior control of the Taliban, particularly from the experience of their 1995-2000 rule, which was in most consideration of western and civilized democratic and human rights standards considered primitive, brutish, and antithetical to even some other groups’ Islamic Shari’a principles and practices, as interpreted and practiced.

Aside the general concern over its past human rights records, the most pressing argument against the Taliban has been its restriction of the participation of women and girls in every aspect of life, as well as public executions. However, the group in its present emergence has made pledges to be more open and responsive to the roles and participation of women in several areas of national life but built on the caveat that such will be in accordance with Islamic Shari’a law. The details of what selections of these liberties will be accorded women has been generating much debate and the global community awaits anxiously the conditions to be revealed and elaborated as promised, when the Taliban government leadership is constituted.

Indications though are that the Taliban have evolved into a more intellectually fed organization with a better understanding of the international system and the importance of building trust and confidence in the community of nations, through consultation, bargaining, trade-offs, concession making, and conforming with principles and agreements that prevail and shape relations within the nuanced global environment. Certainly, no nation can exist and survive in isolation of others, in spite sovereignty principles.

Among critical questions include how the Taliban can govern Afghanistan without the huge modern technocrat and intellectual public and private citizenry that have been raised over the 20 years since it was removed from the control of the nation? The Taliban clearly understands that Afghanistan has changed over the years, and it is for so that it recognized the importance of harnessing the confidence and cooperation of the critical mass that has been developed to enable it to run a modern state.

One cannot restate enough the importance of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan to regional stability and global security, against the background of the over four decades since the raise of Islamism and the recourse to violent struggle by various groups across the world. A situation that has been since the years preceding the emergence of Al-Qaida, the Taliban itself and the prevailing ISIS and its franchises. The emergence of ISIS in Syria has taken the world by storm with the efficiency at how it has been spawning across regions of the world in franchises. Even here in Africa, ISIS has influenced the several Islamic insurgent groups across the West African Sahel, Central Africa and in the ongoing conflict in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. The spread can fundamentally be said to be from the influence of the Islamic principle of a global Ummah, aspiring to a world in the image of the Golden years of Islam, where governance was devoid of corruption, while morality and communalism were the cardinal principles of building strong inclusive societies founded on the dictates and guidance provided in the Quran, Hadith and/or the interpretations, consensus, and lettered declarations of religious leaders.

Insurgent groups tend to align generally to fundamental principles that led to the successes or failures of one for all. This is what makes the combat victory of the Taliban a matter of interest to the world and eliciting the questions around how those other Islamist groups across the world will be energized in their own struggles in their regions. Also, how will the rest of the world react to counter challenges posed by the example of the presiding Taliban success? The circumstance of the global implications is of primary concern to WISER, because it includes and represents the whole and this is the motivation for convening this roundtable to examine the implications of a Taliban led Afghanistan to regional and global security. The region being for the nations contiguous to Afghanistan, in view of their interests in existing bi-lateral, regional, and international alliances.