As Objectivists, we know how crucial fundamental ideas are, for good or ill. Apparently, we're the only ones, as this article about Afghanistan shows. The Taliban is increasing its presence there due in part to what they conceive as a weakness in America's position. This Washington Post article has a 'money quote' that just can't be overlooked, and I highlight it here.
"The Taliban are opportunists," said John Stuart Blackton, a retired U.S. diplomat who consults on Afghan issues with the National Intelligence Council, which produces government intelligence forecasts. "They have no deep ideology and no deep theory that informs what they are doing. . . . In other words, they are better understood as being like a crime family in New Jersey."
The rest of the article should be read, as well. Here's the link: