Afghanistan has “fallen”, that’s the line. The Taliban forces have taken the opportunity of US/NATO withdrawal and swept across the entire country, taking every major city within a week and with barely a shot fired.
Meanwhile, the press are reporting dozens of stories about the humanitarian crises, refugees fleeing the new regime, the fate of women under the Taliban, and “shocking videos” of desperate people.
That’s the official story. But what’s really going on?
1. DID THE TALIBAN REALLY JUST WIN?
Firstly, let’s be clear, the US has not “pulled out” of Afghanistan, not in the true sense of the phrase. They still reserve the right to bomb the place. There are still private contractors in the country. And the Pentagon are already booking their return tickets.
Secondly, the Taliban didn’t “win”, they were unopposed. More than unopposed, they were directly aided. When the US abandoned Bagram airbase they left hundreds of armored vehicles, weapons and over 5000 alleged Taliban prisoners…all of which “accidentally” fell into the hands of the advancing Taliban forces.
The Afghan army, under command of US puppet President Ashraf Ghani, essentially folded without a shot being fired. Tens of thousands of US-trained and armed troops did nothing to stop the advance of the enemy.
The Washington Post’s Max Boot, writing for the Council on Foreign Relations, ties himself in mental knots trying to explain how the Afghan army, with superior numbers AND firepower, “collapsed under pressure”.
The Independent reports that the billions the Pentagon spent on training Afghan security forces has “accidentally” benefited the Taliban, who have now seized vehicles, missiles and aircraft.
The press clearly sees it for what it is – a hole in their story they really need to plug.
Read more: 6 Questions we NEED to ask about Afghanistan