This whole Afghanistan deal for some reason interested me and I took the time to look at it's history for the last couple hundred years.
They were played with every single great world powers (even China already had their shot in the 70's).
But in the end, be it the USSR or the USA, there is no difference. Both are just occupying powers that the locals wanted nothing to do with.
The USSR pretty much built whatever infrastructure that Afghanistan has now, but stupidly otherthrew Amin back in 79' I think.
The USA invaded them and tried to built them a state and again to the same result.
The locals percieved, and probably rightfully so, both nations to be occupants on their land and fought them accordingly.
Only solution I see is let is have it for themselves, let them govern themseles. Keeping the borders tight and see what comes of it.
Heroin and islamic terrorism is what will come out of it, most probably.
Possibly. However opium production is something that skyrocketed after the occupation started in 2001. During Taliban rule production and smuggling wasn't anywhere near the same levels.
As far as terrorism goes, Taliban are the more moderate power that ISIS, and it looks to me like there will be something of a struggle for power between the two of them. One where I hope the Taliban will come out on top.
It all remains to be seen. Yes, Taliban first suppressed opium, with death penalties left and right. Only to monopolize it. Then production rates shot up again. But that was then. This is now.
Today's Taliban is more moderate, and tries to appear even more moderate to the rest of the world. They have an insurmountable task of attracting foreign investment into a war-ravaged territory, that tried to be a country under several kings in XX century, only to be stopped in its tracks by superpower politics and succession of (very) unpopular "democratic" governments. With these "democracies" (Soviet-style or Western-style, regardless) locals lose touch with government, and revert to tribalism, with vengeance. At the moment, Afghanistan is again not a country, but a territory that might try to become a country. This requires money, and there are few options to get it. Local exporting industry (not much but opium), foreign investment, or a safe haven for illicit activities. For the first two, Taliban needs to stabilize the place. For the second, it will need to look presentable and respectable. That means that plenty of radicals within Taliban will get mighty pissed, and might be recruited by someone more unhinged (like ISIS).
Now -- why the task is insurmountable. Afghanistan is around 40 million people, not yet triple of 15 million of 1979, but going in that direction. Where do the resources come from, to keep hunger and squalor from pushing folks into the open arms of radicals? I don't see it yet. Maybe China's "belt and road" will put them all to work? Remains to be seen.