Asfandyar Mir, a noted expert on South Asia and terrorism, was in Kabul just weeks before the Taliban overran the country in mid-August. How did the Afghan government fall so fast and what will be the ramifications of the return of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the official name of the Taliban? Has the group changed since it last governed the country between 1996 and 2001? What is the nature of the relationship between the Taliban and al-Qaida? Can the Taliban really be trusted to prevent Afghanistan from being used to threaten the United States?