Afghanistan Falls To The Taliban Again As The U.S.-Backed Government Collapses

Twenty years after the US-led overthrow, Taliban militias stormed the Afghan capital, Kabila, on Sunday and encountered little resistance from Afghan government forces

Within hours, the Washington-backed Afghan president had left the country and the flag was lowered at the US embassy during the hasty evacuation of diplomatic personnel.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Facebook that it was a “difficult choice” but decided to leave to avoid bloodshed. He signed the article “Long Live Afghanistan”. The Taliban made a statement stating that they entered the capital of 6 million people and worked to restore order.

On Saturday, militia fighters swiftly followed the government’s last remaining stronghold, Mazar-e-Sharif, and then on Sunday, the main road artery east of Kabul, Jalalabad.

Until Sunday, Kabul was a scene reminiscent of the fall of Saigon in 1975 after the Vietnam War, as helicopters surrounded the US embassy while its diplomatic personnel were under orders to evacuate. The comparison with Vietnam was something US Secretary of State Anthony Blinke wanted to ignite: “This isn’t Saigon. 20 years ago we went to Afghanistan on a mission and that mission was to deal with the people who attacked us at 9:11, and we did it,” he told CNN. To the union.

Afghanistan Falls To The Taliban Again As The U.S.-Backed Government Collapses:

The US embassy issued a warning on Sunday, warning that Kabul airport is “on fire” and that “US citizens have been granted asylum at the scene”. A US military official told NPR that the airport was closed to commercial aircraft as the military evacuation continued.

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Previously, the White House ordered the deployment of approximately 5,000 troops to Afghanistan to ensure security and assist in the evacuation of US personnel. The Pentagon confirmed on Sunday that 1,000 more would attend.

Failed end of America’s longest war

The events of the day were in dramatic code for America’s longest war, with the Taliban’s refusal to extradite Osama bin Laden immediately after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. A few weeks after the attacks on New York and Washington, US-led forces overthrew the Taliban and occupied the country by the end of the year.

However, this participation took months and years. Since then, more than 2,400 US soldiers, about 3,800 US contractors, more than 1,100 other Allied service members, and about 66,000 Afghan National Army and police, and more than 47,000 civilians have been killed. Brown University War Spending Project.

As a result, over the past two decades, the price tag in Afghanistan has reached $2.26 trillion, including the cost of rebuilding the Afghan government and training its military.

On Sunday, Blinken issued a bitter note about the rapid collapse of the 300,000 US-trained Afghan security forces who “proved incapable of defending the country” – “it happened faster than we expected.”

This view was echoed by Ret, a former NATO ally. adm. “You can get all the equipment in the world, but you can’t get leadership or political will or any particular battlefield will,” James Stavridis told NPR’s Weekend Edition. “That’s why we’re having this dream of the Afghan military. It’s so heartwarming.”

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Meanwhile, chaos and fear in Kabul, the Taliban, especially women, ethnic and religious minorities, took office with the prestige they deserved for their oppression and brutality.

“The thieves, the robbers, all the robbers are out”

Many Afghans waited in long lines at banks to withdraw their money, worried about what would happen to their deposits under the new regime.

An unnamed NPR resident described the chaos in the capital to guard against possible repression.

“Right now the thieves, the robbers, all the robbers are out and trying to loot cars – no matter what journey you’re on right now,” he said. “There are gunshots [everywhere].”

“We have an armed guard [in our neighborhood] and he shot at someone because people are trying to rob houses and passers-by.”

Others in the capital also welcomed their new rulers.

In Kabul, freelance journalist Matthieu Aikins wrote that he returned from the western part of the capital on Monday afternoon.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai tweeted that he is the leader of Hizb ut Tahrir, along with Abdullah Abdullah, who previously represented the Afghan government in talks with the Taliban.

White House and former Trump official index fingers

As the latest attack on the capital on Saturday was not clear, President Biden issued a statement seeking to distract his administration from the outcome, emphasizing the cancellation of the peace deal that promised to withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan. former President Donald Trump.

Biden said he inherited a deal cut by his predecessor. The Taliban remained the strongest military force since 2001, which set May 1, 2021 for US forces.

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“Shortly before he resigned, the United States reduced its forces to at least 2,500,” Biden said.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who brokered the Trump administration’s peace deal with the Taliban, blamed Biden’s White House, Fox News reported on Sunday.

“It looks like the Biden administration failed to deliver on its plan,” Pompeo said.

State Department spokesman Ned Price told NPR on Friday that the White House hopes Afghan security forces will stand up and fight the Taliban.

“What we believe is that the Afghan National Security Forces have great power. What we need to see now is to use it effectively.”

The victory of the Taliban and the evacuation of the US embassy halted a special immigrant visa program for Afghan translators and others assisting US efforts in the country, and may now face retaliation from the Taliban.

Price said Friday that the US is “significantly expanding this operation”.

“We have implemented 1,200 Afghans in the US so far,” he told NPR.

However, he said, “We understand that this is not enough, given the number of Afghans risking their lives and potentially their families to help us.”

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