A State Tackled with the International Isolation: Afghanistan

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The United States of America (US) officially withdrew from the country, which intervened militarily after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as of August 31, 2021, after 20 years of occupation. The Taliban has announced to world society that they had control of Afghanistan by forming a provisional government. The Taliban’s coming to power resulted in an apprehension both within the country and of the international arena. Especially, the women rights problem and humanitarian crisis feasible to happen has become the top priority of the international society. Hence, the international society is aware of the troubles Afghan people have lived through and may live through. Therefore, they have attempted to bring the Taliban to the international cooperation sphere to a certain extent

Many countries notably the regional states are ready to take action for the Taliban’s integration of the international community. However, these states are concerning the providing of expectations which is required from the Taliban. The dilemma faced by the international community and the isolation of the Taliban is causing a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan that is expanding each passing day.

Regarding these, the instructions of relief agencies operating in Afghanistan are worthy of consideration. Aid organizations expressed the frustrations and difficulties they encountered while carrying out their operations in the country. Also, the agencies stated that the Taliban is not recognized as an official government and this engender a major obstacle to them while they trying to operate.[1] Therefore, the isolation of the Taliban from the international community leads to delayed or no provision of assistance to meet the basic necessities of the Afghan people.

There are also some calculations and predictions, about the scenes of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan are getting to deteriorate. For instance, the Permanent Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Afghanistan, Abdallah Al Dardari, expressed that 23 million people desperately need food, an economy worth $20 billion could experience a $4 billion shrinkage, and 97% of the population of 38 million is at risk of being driven into poverty.[2]

This grave picture in Afghanistan can be seen as a probable cause for the international community to take action for Afghanistan. Besides, in relation to the situation, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has stated that urgent steps should be taken to address the humanitarian crisis that started in and to prevent economic collapse in Afghanistan. Moreover, UNSC delegates pointed out that the report on the increase in terrorist attacks in Afghanistan in the recent period is alarming. In fact, Deborah Lyons, Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), stated that abandoning the Afghan people now would be a historical mistake and could cause the Afghan people to feel abandoned, forgotten and punished for circumstances that were actually not their fault.[3]

As it is seen, should not leave them to their own fate be necessary for Afghan people. It is essential for each member of the international community to give economic and political assistance to Afghanistan in order to prevent humanitarian crises.  Therefore, it can be said that the international community, as well as the Taliban, has responsibility for Afghanistan’s normalization and integration into the international system.

Providing flexibility in generally accepted certain norms in international politics is indispensable. In other words, rather than the criteria that is should be, it is necessary in some cases to take care of what is.  At this point, the situation in Afghanistan should be taken into consideration. The isolation of Afghanistan by the international community due to the Taliban will deepen the humanitarian crisis that exists in the country and is growing day by day. Therefore, neighbouring countries and leading actors of the international system, especially Western states, will gravitate towards to a process that will attract the Taliban to cooperation. That is what is rational. As a matter of fact, the Taliban due regard being had to the growing humanitarian crisis circumstance, can respond in the same way to the positive steps of the international community. If may experience an opposite situation, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan will be getting deepened, accelerating migration movements, and paving the way for radicalization. This will mean sabotaging regional and global cooperation and a peaceful atmosphere.

[1] “Aid Agencies in Afghanistan Struggle Amid International Isolation”, DPA International,, (Date of Accession: 08.12.2021).

[2] “Afghanistan is Facing the ‘Worst Humanitarian Disaster We’ve Ever Seen,’ the UN Says”, CNBC,, (Date of Accession: 08.12.2021).

[3] “Abandoning Afghanistan Now, Amid Humanitarian Crisis, Would Be ‘Historic Mistake’, Special Representative Tells Security Council”, United Nations,, (Date of Accession: 08.12.2021).

Hüseyin YELTİN
Hüseyin Yeltin, Sakarya Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü mezunudur. Yüksek lisans eğitimini de Sakarya Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Uluslararası İlişkiler Anabilim Dalı'nda tamamlayan Yeltin, halihazırda Anadolu Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Siyaset Bilimi ve Uluslararası İlişkiler Bilim Dalı'nda doktora eğitimini sürdürmekte ve ANKASAM'ın çalışmalarına da katkıda bulunmaktadır.