To those who say that Rory Stewart is pessimistic about
"[…] the Taliban are very unlikely to take over
Even if – as seems most unlikely – the Taliban were to take the capital, it is not clear how much of a threat this would pose to US or European national security.
Would they repeat their error of providing a safe haven to al-Qaida? And how safe would this safe haven be? They could give al-Qaida land for a camp but how would they defend it against predators or US special forces? And does al-Qaida still require large terrorist training camps to organise attacks? Could they not plan in
So there is optimism about
"It is impossible for
His last point is a rebuttal to the whole idea of systematically seeing in “ungoverned territories” potential sanctuaries for terrorists. As Stewart points out, terrorist groups seeking refuge in such areas are vulnerable because no one will complain too loudly about infringement on state sovereignty if they end up getting Predatored.
Ungoverned territories also have serious disadvantages for the functioning of any organization. They lack communications, banking systems, infrastructures. Areas where state control is lax or inexistent may make it possible, for a group, to train a few people to the use of small arms and the assembling of IEDs, as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) does in the stretch of the Sahara desert between