Ros Atkins unpacked the complex Afghanistan crisis on Thursday and outlined his predictions for the country in the hands of the Taliban.
The presenter and creator of BBC News’ Outside Source tweeted a three-minute segment from his show where he touched on “the loss of a democracy and of US influence” that have followed the collapse of the Afghan government.
He pointed out how the Taliban were now working to form a government by having high-level meetings in Kabul about the transfer of power while the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani had announced his intention to soon return to Afghanistan.
But, Atkins noted that the US no longer recognises Ghani’s authority – the president fled from the nation on Sunday and handed the reins of power over to the Taliban.
Atkins continued: “Rather than trying to seize power from the Taliban, Americans at the moment are far more concerned with the vast operation that’s underway.”
The US has announced it is pursuing a non-combative evacuation operation from Afghanistan.
This is focused on Kabul Airport, one of the remaining places in Afghanistan still in the hands of the US.
Atkins noted “there we continue to see desperate scenes” as thousands desperately try to escape the Taliban by any means possible.
But Americans do not control the entire process – they are actually relying on the Taliban to provide safe passage to civilians on their way to the airport.
The BBC journalist added: “If the Americans have limited control over how people can get out now, there’s a far longer term loss of control to consider too.”
The White House has promised to keep an eye on whether the rights of women and girls remain intact under the Taliban, but Atkins questioned how feasible that will really be.
He noted: “It’s the Taliban which is in power now, a terror organisation which is responsible for atrocities all the way back to the 90s.
“Having spent 20 years fighting the US and its allies, you imagine having its human rights record monitored is of no concern. Because, whatever the western leaders say, or tweet, their influence is dwindling.
“The democracy they helped create has gone.
“It will be to China, Russia and Iran that the Taliban listens – not to the US, or the UK, or their Nato allies.”
He concluded: “It’s an uncomfortable outcome after 20 years, billions of dollars, and thousands of lives lost.”