You might not think you have anything in common with the notoriously violent extremists in the Taliban, but members of the jihadist group have expressed some all-too-common complaints about their new positions.
Since gaining control of Afghanistan, Taliban officials have moved from fighting a perceived holy war against infidels to pushing paper in the nation’s bureaucracy — and they generally don’t seem to care for it.
A sudden transition
Almost as quickly as President Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban established a firm grip on power across the nation. This meant that they had no real need to keep fighting jihad, but they did have a newfound duty to provide certain government services.
Expressing frustration that might remind you of a police officer who is placed on desk assignment, some of these former fighters have become burned out by the drudgery of their new gigs.
They got what they had been fighting for … control of Afghanistan. But it didn’t end up looking like many of them expected.
A nonprofit group called the Afghanistan Analytics Network commissioned some research into the new Taliban-led government, which included interviews with five former jihadists who are now between 24 and 32 years old and spent anywhere from six to 11 years in the group.
Two of them are now working in the civilian realm while the other three obtained positions in the security sector. Across the board, they expressed some pretty standard beef with the current situation.
Not only is it a much duller existence, they say, but it comes with a lot more responsibility.
One former sniper said “people didn’t expect much from us” back then, “whereas now if someone is hungry, he deems us directly responsible for that.”