It took the Taliban three and a half months to recapture Afghanistan and return to fly the flag of the Islamic Emirate in Kabul on 15 August last year.
After twenty years of war, the United States of Donald Trump and the Taliban had signed a peace agreement in Doha in February 2020 which provided for the withdrawal of all NATO forces by 1 May 2021. A year after the agreement, the US military in Afghanistan is reduced to 2,500. But a few weeks after the deadline for withdrawal, the new tenant of the White House, Joe Biden, who faces the first international crisis since taking office, decides the postponement in September, citing security concerns and complaining about logistical delays. In fact, alongside the withdrawal of military forces and assets, there are da evacuate thousands and thousands of Afghans and Afghans who have collaborated in various capacities with the “occupation forces”, as the Taliban label them.
Biden indicates as a new deadline the date of 11 September, dramatically central to American history and that of the conflict in Afghanistan, which began as a result of the attacks in America. Osama bin Ladenat the time hidden right in the mountains of the Asian country.
The Taliban fight back in arms at Biden’s announcement and at the end of May 1st they launch a massive offensive in the province most hostile to foreign forces, that Helmand where the highest number of victims among American and British soldiers in 20 years of war is concentrated. Afghan soldiers put up resistance, powerful warlords and militias armed with civilians also take to the field.
But there is no longer allied air support, a deadly resource during the conflict. In a few weeks, the defensive lines of the government retreated across the country to concentrate only in the big cities. The Taliban launch the attack on the capitals on August 6: only four days later European sources estimate that they have taken control of 65% of the territory. Kandahar falls on 12 August, the international community welcomes the news with skepticism, it will take hours to believe it. Two days later the Taliban are at the gates of Kabul, on the 15th the president Ashraf Ghani flees abroadwhile the Taliban flag already flies over his former palace.
In the following weeks it emerges that the Taliban advance, however powerful and planned, had met with no significant resistance. The commanders had negotiated the surrender of the cities in exchange for life. Kabul’s army, despite streams of billions of dollars for training and training, turns out to be what many feared it was: a crock pot. The withdrawal of NATO forces becomes hasty and eventually ends in chaos on August 30 with the last American military plane to leave Kabul. The images of the embassy closure and helicopter evacuations are branded as a new Saigon for the US administration.
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