A common misconception, wantonly cultivated by liberals who think America deserves all the bad stuff she gets, is that the US created the Taliban by supporting the Mujihadeen in their fight against the Soviets.
In fact, nearly the opposite is true.
The evolution of the Taliban and al-Qaeda is exceedingly complicated, primarily because they are not state actors, but smaller groups of religious zealots acted upon and acting through many states.
I’ll simplify for the purposes of this blog and because I have so little time.
The Taliban initially began as a religious student movement, which erupted when former Mujihadeen commanders and fighters committed a series of atrocities during the civil wars that ensued after the Soviet defeat. While some Taliban actions occurred as early as 1994, it was Mullah Omar that gave the movements coherence when he seized the Cloak of the Prophet in Kandahar and declared himself commander of the faithful. From there, the Taliban essentially went on to become the victor of the Afghan civil war. For all of their brutality, they at least represented law, and they were consistent as well as brutal in the application of that law.
Again, stacks of books have been written on the matter of Afghanistan. But let me just say, that saying that the US created the Taliban by funding the Mujihadeen is a massive over-simplication and obfuscation. There were afterall, lots of Mujihadeen who were not Taliban. Most of them, actually. To say we created the Taliban would be akin to saying that Columbine High school created the murderers Klebold and Harris. Yes they went to school there. Yes, the school fed them lunch and taught them. But they did that to others who didn’t commit mass murder, too.
The accusation that we helped bad people and they came back to bite us is an obsfucation also. We helped lots of good people too. Some bad people were in the mix, and as bad people tend to do, they crushed the weak. The eduacted and moderates fled the country.
So, the Taliban is a separate entity from the Mujihadeen, though there are members of the Muj in the Taliban. The actions of the Taliban are only an example that the world always has its bad players and you deal with them as they come along. Pakistan, the ISI, Saudi Arabia, all of these entities funded the Taliban directly, and indeed backed their ideological vision of Sharia for all.