Life under the Taliban will be a carbon copy of the Islamic State's self-styled caliphate, where locals were brutally subjugated and fear reigned supreme, a terrorism expert has warned.
Greg Barton, a professor of global Islamic politics at Deakin University, said the best predictor of Afghanistan's future was the past, and pointed to the Taliban's rule before they were usurped in the 20-year US-led war on terror.
Since May, when the US announced it was withdrawing all troops and support, the Taliban has moved quickly across the country's rural hinterland and tribal regions, with reports of summary executions of captured Afghan soldiers, the beating of women considered immodestly dressed, forced marriages and assassinations of civil leaders and journalists.
Afghan women, in particular, Professor Barton said, would see a "terrible turning back of the clock" compared to life over the past two decades.
"A whole generation of young women are going to see their lives change pretty radically, pretty quickly (with) things like education, schooling and general freedoms," he said.
He predicted two-thirds of Afghanistan's 38-million population would be in "the firing line", which was "not to say that they're going to be killed, but there will be suffering" among the ethnic Hazaras, the nation's 19 million females and 10 million or more who live in the country's big urban centres and cities.
"What we're seeing, I think without an exaggeration, is pretty much what we became familiar with, with the Islamic State caliphate in Syria and Iraq," Professor Barton said.
"I say that because that's what it was in the 1990s," he said, "and there's no indication that the Taliban have changed".
He expected the Taliban to once again rule with "a very brutal, patriarchal" hand.
However, a former Australian soldier who deployed to Afghanistan on multiple Special Operations Task Group tours between 2010 and 2013, said the re-emergence of the Taliban would be welcomed by many, especially in the south.
Shane Healy, a former military intelligence operator from Sydney who now works in counter-terror, said he did not expect Afghanistan to go back to what it was "pre-9/11".
Locals, he said, would want to keep hold of things like mobile phones and maintain healthcare and maternity hospitals, some of which had been built by the Australian Defence Force.
"I'm 100 per cent certain that 70 per cent of southern Afghanistan have wanted (the return of the Taliban) since 9/11," he said, having completed two tours in Uruzgan Province.
"They've got an army, the Taliban … locally recruited after we destroyed them for 20 years, and they're bigger than ever."
There could be no comparison to Islamic State's force of foreign recruits from around the world, including Australia, he said.
"That's how willing the Taliban are, how much they want this. They've come out of the villages, come out of the tribal belt. They watched the Americans and (the Australians) and the Brits shoot their fathers or kill the Taliban on the raids, and they're still committed."
Healy said life in Afghanistan would unlikely be as suppressive as it was before the US-led invasion, predicting "it will be more along the lines of a Saudi Arabia or a Kuwait rather than the prehistoric existence that there was, in southern Afghanistan especially."
The Taliban emerged in Pashtun areas straddling Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Healy said that area that had always been a tribal caliphate to the Taliban.
"They always had a tribal hierarchy that never went away even when we were there."
The US Embassy tweeted last week that it was tracking reports of war crimes and other atrocities by the Taliban
The Taliban of the past were infamous for denying education to women, carrying out public executions of their opponents and persecuting minorities, such as the Shiite Hazaras.
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