How did the Taliban retake Afghanistan so fast? What’s happening now? What we know

Written by on August 15, 2021

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Taliban’s advance on Afghanistan assessments Biden’s ‘America is again’ plan

The Taliban’s swift march throughout Afghanistan has pressured the U.S. to dispatch 1000’s of troops to assist evacuate U.S. Embassy personnel

Employees video, Wochit

WASHINGTON – Taliban fighters marched into Afghanistan’s capital metropolis on Sunday, signaling a collapse of the Afghan authorities 20 years after the U.S. invaded the nation within the “battle on terror.”

The swift fall of the capital metropolis got here because the Taliban seized practically all of Afghanistan, regardless of the billions of {dollars} spent by the U.S. and NATO to construct up Afghan safety forces.

Kabul’s collapse had been anticipated, however the velocity during which it occurred shocked U.S. officers. Simply final week, an American army evaluation estimated it might be a month earlier than the capital would come underneath rebel strain.

Here is what we all know:

Taliban enters Kabul

Taliban fighters marched into the Afghan capital on Sunday and sought the unconditional give up of the central authorities. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation because the Taliban stated it might transfer additional into Kabul.

The Afghan authorities hoped for an interim administration. Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen instructed Qatar’s Al-Jazeera English satellite tv for pc information channel that the insurgents are “awaiting a peaceable switch of Kabul metropolis.”

Taliban negotiators have been in Kabul on Sunday to debate the switch of energy, stated an Afghan official who spoke on situation of anonymity for concern of reprisals. It remained unclear when that switch would happen and who among the many Taliban was negotiating.

Extra: Taliban’s Afghanistan advance assessments Biden’s ‘America is again’ overseas coverage promise

U.S. personnel await evacuation

U.S. personnel in Afghanistan are being totally evacuated from the nation over the following 72 hours, in response to a number of studies. The skies of Kabul are crammed with helicopters ferrying principally American and allied employees to evacuation websites.

Two officers stated Sunday that American diplomats have been being moved from the embassy to the airport. Army helicopters shuttled between the embassy compound and the airport, the place a core presence will stay for so long as attainable given safety circumstances.

U.S. officers are in ongoing negotiations with Taliban negotiators in Doha to make sure protected passage for People exiting the nation. The embassy will shut as soon as all U.S. personnel have been evacuated.

“We’ve conveyed to the Taliban reps in Doha that any motion on their half that places U.S. personnel or our mission in danger will likely be met with a swift & robust (Division of Protection) response,” the U.S. embassy in Kabul wrote on Twitter.

Extra: Biden faces Trump’s deadline on Afghanistan troop withdrawal: ‘Any method you narrow it, we’re headed for a messy consequence’

How did the Taliban retake Afghanistan so quick?

For years, U.S. and Afghan forces centered on controlling key provide chains and main cities within the nation, forcing the Taliban into Afghanistan’s rugged hinterland. The Taliban remained robust within the nation’s mountainous rural areas, utilizing these areas as bases of assault to grab territory as soon as US forces started their drawdown.

The Taliban additionally remained in command of strategic border crossings, in response to the Related Press, permitting them to smuggle weapons and different key items whereas additionally rejuvenating forces exterior the nation.

The Taliban began a sweeping army offensive throughout Afghanistan in Might. As soon as Taliban forces started taking regional capitals in August, a way of panic and a collapse of morale additionally overtook many within the Afghan army, aiding the Taliban’s advance.

The disintegration of the Afghan authorities’s management of the nation got here at a breakneck tempo in latest days. A bit of over per week in the past, the Taliban managed not one of the nation’s provincial capitals. Now, they’re in possession of a majority of these cities and many of the nation’s territory.

U.S. sending extra troops

President Joe Biden introduced Saturday that he licensed the deployment of 5,000 troops to Afghanistan to make sure “an orderly and protected” drawdown and evacuate U.S. personnel in addition to Afghans who helped American troops as Taliban militants continued to make fast territorial features throughout the nation.

The president dispatched 1,000 troops along with the three,000 the Pentagon despatched to Afghanistan earlier this week and 1,000 troops who’re already on the bottom, in response to a protection official who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate the matter.

Extra: Biden places a twist on ‘America First’ at the same time as he strikes to unravel Trump’s overseas coverage

Was Afghanistan withdrawal Trump or Biden? Each

The choice to tug U.S. troops out of Afghanistan was a part of an settlement former President Donald Trump cast with the Taliban in February 2020. Underneath that deal, the U.S. agreed to withdraw all its forces. In trade, the Taliban promised to sever its ties with al-Qaida and finish its assaults on American forces. The Trump administration started a drawdown of U.S. forces, and about 2,500 U.S. troops remained by the point he left workplace.

When Biden took workplace, he determined to go forward with plans to finish U.S. involvement within the battle however delayed the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Biden initially stated he would withdraw all U.S. forces from the nation by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of 9/11. He later moved up the withdrawal date to Aug. 31, arguing the time had come to finish America’s longest battle.

Administration officers stated Biden made the choice after concluding Afghanistan was “unwinnable battle” and one which “doesn’t have a army answer.”

Whereas most U.S. troops left the nation in July, the army continued airstrikes in opposition to the Taliban because the insurgency’s advance grew to become clear.

Why was the U.S. in Afghanistan?

The U.S. had troops in Afghanistan since October 2001 underneath President George W. Bush after the 9/11 terror assaults on the World Commerce Facilities in New York and the Pentagon simply exterior of Washington. The U.S. sought the al-Qaida militants who had deliberate the assault there and acquired assist from the Taliban. 

Extra: First group of Afghan interpreters who served with US troops are on their option to a brand new life within the US

What about Russia and Afghanistan?

The U.S. and Russia have an extended, tangled historical past in Afghanistan, stretching again to the Chilly Battle. 

The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to prop up a communist-led authorities there, resulting in alarm amongst American officers who ultimately determined to intervene. In the course of the Reagan administration, the U.S. helped resistance fighters generally known as the mujahideen, sending them anti-aircraft missiles and different help. 

Partially, due to America’s involvement, the Afghan battle grew to become a quagmire for the Soviet Union, costing Moscow billions of {dollars} and dealing a blow to the fame of its Pink Military. Russia lastly withdrew its forces within the late 1980s.

The battle left greater than 15,000 Soviet troopers lifeless.

Over the previous a number of years, Russia has supported the Taliban. In 2020, it was revealed that Russia could have paid bounties to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Michael Collins and Matthew Brown cowl the White Home. Observe Collins on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS and Brown @mrbrownsir.

Contributing: The Related Press; Courtney Subramanian and Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY

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