Taliban Is Surrounding Kabul as Battle Looms

Territory falls, evacuations begin in Kabul

US troops are starting to arrive in the Afghan capital of Kabul for the evacuation of the embassy. This is just one of many embassies that are packing their bags and are getting out while the getting is good.

The Taliban has taken most of the country is the past week, and while a few days ago US intelligence assessments said that Kabul might not last another 90 days, the concern now is that they might not last long enough for a secure weekend evacuation.

The Pentagon says that the the Taliban seem to be working to surround the capital before invading it. That strategy seems to be virtually the default as almost the whole rest of the country is lost already.

Vice President Saleh tried to sound defiant, saying that the forces in Kabul will continue to resist the Taliban. That was no certainty, as many cities have fallen in recent days with little to no fighting.

US officials are pressuring the Afghan government to do more to stop the Taliban, suggesting they could do so if they try hard enough. That does not appear to be in keeping with the fighting in the last week.

The US seems to be struggling, at least publicly, with the reality of a lost war, trying to put forward narratives about the Afghan government being able to turn things around, despite rout after rout in major battles.

It is hard to imagine Kabul not falling at this point, and with the rate of things, the 90 day estimate seems wildly optimistic. Other cities across Afghanistan are long gone.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.