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From Saigon to the Mujahideen: the many historical echoes of the fall of Kabul

By Vassily A. Klimentov, SNSF Postdoctoral Researcher/ Visiting Fellow, Graduate Institute – Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement (IHEID)
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When Kabul fell to Taliban forces on August 15, observers rushed to draw historical parallels to make sense of the situation. There were abundant analogies to choose from, between Afghanistan’s four decades of war and the US’s various failed interventions and nation-building projects around the world.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken may have said of Kabul that “this is not Saigon”, but there are significant parallels between the country’s retreat…


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