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Taliban Seize Control of Second Largest Afghan City, Kabul Is On Deck

The Taliban took control of Kandahar, Afghanistan's second largest city with eyes on Kabul, the nation's capital.
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Taliban Fighters

Taliban Seize Kandahar, Prepare to March on Kabul

The WSJ reports Taliban Seize Kandahar, Prepare to March on Afghan Capital Kabul

The Taliban completed the seizure of Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city and the Islamist movement’s birthplace, and took into custody a warlord who organized the failed defenses of the western city of Herat.

Commercial flights from Kabul were booked solid, with expatriates and Afghans holding visas for foreign countries attempting to leave. Tens of thousands of people escaping the Taliban’s advances in the provinces, meanwhile, flocked into the Afghan capital, sleeping in city parks and mosques.

Taliban’s new governor for Kandahar, Haji Yousaf Wafa, issued a message announcing a general amnesty for government employees and members of security forces, and urged everyone to return to work as normal, including in schools and universities. In a radio announcement, the Taliban also asked traffic police officers to resume their duties and alleviate Kandahar’s traffic jams.

“Now the situation is totally normal,” said Syed Mohammad, a Kandahar shopkeeper. “On each square there are 10 to 15 Taliban standing with guns, flags and walkie talkies. But everyone can go to any part of the city without constraint.”

US Embassy Destroying Documents

 Ahead of the expected surge of Kabul, US Embassy in Afghanistan Tells Staff to Destroy Sensitive Materials.

The US Embassy in Kabul is instructing personnel to destroy sensitive materials as well as items "which could be misused in propaganda efforts," according to a management notice sent Friday to embassy staff.

The notice said facilities would provide "destruction support" daily and called on personnel to "please take advantage and reduce the amount of sensitive material on the property," including papers and electronics.

"Please also include items with embassy or agency logos, American flags, or items which could be misused in propaganda efforts."

U.S. Is Sending 3,000 Troops Back to Afghanistan to Begin Evacuations

The New York Times reports U.S. Is Sending 3,000 Troops Back to Afghanistan to Begin Evacuations

The Pentagon is moving 3,000 Marines and soldiers to Afghanistan and another 4,000 troops to the region to evacuate most of the American Embassy and U.S. citizens in Kabul, as the Biden administration braces for a possible collapse of the Afghan government within the next month, administration and military officials said.

The embassy sent the latest in a series of alarming alerts, urging Americans to “leave Afghanistan immediately using available commercial flight options.”

American negotiators are also trying to extract assurances from the Taliban that they will not attack the U.S. Embassy in Kabul if they take over the country’s government and ever want to receive foreign aid, three American officials said.

Cities Fall With Stunning Speed

The New York Times has a Live Update noting U.S. Readies Evacuation as Major Cities Fall With Stunning Speed

Only three major Afghan cities — the capital, Kabul, Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif — remain under government control, and one is under siege by the Taliban. With the collapse of both Lashkar Gah and Kandahar, the Taliban now effectively control southern Afghanistan, a powerful symbol of their resurgence, just weeks before the United States is set to completely withdraw from the country.

Over the past week, the Taliban have taken one Afghan city after another in a rapid offensive that has left them well positioned to attack Kabul. The government’s forces appear close to a complete collapse. Some American officials fear that the Afghan government will not last another month.

Inevitable Event 

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Some will blame Biden for abandoning Afghanistan, but short of commiting to a "whatever it takes" effort this was an inevitable outcome. 

At a minimum, "whatever it takes" would have meant putting tens of thousands of US troops back in Afghanistan permanently. 

The collapse of these regional capitals happened quickly because the defenders laid down their weapons or joined forces with the Taliban.   

War Mongering Mainstream Media 

Comparison to Saigon

The US had no legitimate business in Vietnam and other than the capture of Bin Laden had no legitimate business in Afghanistan either. 

US special forces killed Bin Laden on May 2, 2011, in Pakistan. 

After taking out Bin Laden. the US could have and should have declared victory and left the region. 

Instead of victory, this looks like defeat. This mess lingered for another 10 years at a cost in the trillions of dollars.

Expect Right wing media to blame Biden for this defeat. But this outcome was inevitable all along because as with Vietnam, support for the war in the US vanished.

Leaving Afghanistan after Bush failed, Obama announced and failed, and Trump announced and failed, will likely be the one major accomplishment of the Biden presidency. 

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