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Afghanistan is falling to the Taliban.
As we observed on July 5, 2021, after the announcement of the total U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the elected government of Asraf Ghani could fall quickly.
“The Afghan government could fall quickly,” The Trenchant Observer, July 5, 2021 (updated July 21, 2021).
For the latest updates and analysis, see
1) Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Najim Rahim, and Taimoor Shah,”Taliban Overrun 2 More Provincial Capitals, Increasing Pressure on Kabul; Local officials said insurgents had flooded Pul-i-Khumri in the north and Farah in western Afghanistan, the seventh and eighth cities to be overtaken in five day,” New York Times, August 10, 2021 (Updated 3:53 p.m. ET);
2) Ben Hubbard, “As U.S. Leaves Afghanistan, History Suggests It May Struggle to Stay Out; A decade ago, a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq opened the door for the Islamic State. Will the withdrawal from Afghanistan do the same for the Taliban?” New York Times, August 10, 2021 (updated at 11:45 a.m. ET).
3) Akhtar Mohammad Makoii (in Herat) and Luke Harding, “Taliban capture sixth provincial capital in northern Afghanistan; Fighters overrun Aibak without meeting resistance, leaving pro-government forces in region cut off,” The Guardian, August 9, 2021 (18.20 BST
4) Amanda Mars (Washington), “El repliegue de EE UU deja vía libre a los talibanes para acelerar su ofensiva en Afganistán
El grupo radical se hace con el control de seis ciudades en menos de una semana, mientras el Pentágono y la OTAN mantienen inalterable su plan de salida,” El País, 10 Agosto 2021 (8:23 a.m.)
Sometimes a picture or a graphic is worth a thousand words. See the map in Amanda Mars’ article, above, for a dramatic view of the gains made by the Taliban during the last week, and also since the announcement of the total U.S. withdrawal in May.
What can be done?
Given President Biden’s disastrous decision to withdraw completely from Afghanistan, and his doggedly stubborn refusal to reconsider his decision in view of recent events on the ground, the U.S. is not likely to lead an effort to save the elected government of Ashraf Ghani. But the U.S. could follow.
Perhaps the best hope for the people of Afghanistan, who Biden and the U.S. have abandoned to the Taliban, is for the establishment of a U.N. military force under U.N. Security Council resolutions to be adopted
This course of action would be consistent with previous Security Council resolutions and U.N. actions. From 2002, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has formed an integral part of U.S. and international efforts to build and strengthen democracy in Afghanistan.
The new U.N. effort might be led by European countries and joined by others, including those which had troops stationed in Afghanistan as part of the international coalition led by the U.S.
The Trenchant Observer
The Trenchant Observer has been following Afghanistan closely since 2005, when he worked in Kabul as the Team Leader of group of six lawyers charged with advising the government on modernizing its criminal justice process to better meet international human rights standards.
Use the Search box to the right to find previous articles by the Trenchant Observer on Afghanistan, going back to 2009.