A year ago today, the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban broke into the Afghan capital, Kabul, following the collapse of the country’s elected government. The last member of the US military left 15 days later, capping a turbulent nearly 20 years of US involvement in the Central Asian country.
It began after the Taliban sheltered Al Qaeda and its leader, Usama bin Laden – the perpetrators of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, the withdrawal completed President Biden’s announcement in April last year that all US military and personnel would leave Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
After recapturing territories throughout Afghanistan, the Taliban’s recapture of Kabul was swift and, according to many observers, not surprising.
Bill Rogio, an Afghanistan expert and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said: “It was completely predictable that the Taliban would take control of the country despite the claims of US officials.” Fox News Digital. “I said publicly in the spring that the Afghan government would be lucky to have it built after the summer. I studied the pattern of Taliban military operations and how it took advantage of the weaknesses of the Afghan government and military. Without American support The collapse was inevitable.”
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Rogio, editor of the acclaimed Long War Journal, recently published maps showing how quickly the Taliban advanced and took over the country after Biden’s announcement.
“I believe that the US can withdraw from Afghanistan and leave behind a viable Afghan government, even if it is not capable of ruling the entire country.” Patients added. “The withdrawal, as executed by the Biden administration, completely pulled the rug from the Afghan government and military.”
He said that Afghan policy makers never imagined the US would leave in such a hurry.
“The US needs to make a slow comeback and help the Afghan military develop its ability to support itself over time,” Rogio said. “The Afghan government must make tough choices, such as abandoning the defense of the south and most of the east. Biden’s withdrawal never gave the Afghan government and military a fighting chance.”
In his speech announcing withdrawal plans, Biden said he inherited the Trump administration’s withdrawal deal, but said he would respect it, despite some reservations.
“It’s probably not what I would have negotiated myself, but it was an agreement made by the United States government, and it means something,” Biden said. “So, with that agreement in mind and with our national interests in mind, the United States will begin our final withdrawal — start it on May 1 of this year.”
Biden, it seems, did not foresee the collapse of the Afghan government in August as a result of the US withdrawal, pledging: “We will not rush the exit. We will do it responsibly, deliberately and safely. . We will do this in full coordination with our allies and partners, who now have more forces in Afghanistan than we do.”
Still, for some Afghans, the Biden administration alone should not be blamed for the Taliban’s return to power.
“I think we were thrown by the USA to the Taliban. Why? Why?” asked Amiri Khan, a former special forces commando from Afghanistan, who used a pseudonym to protect his identity.
He was also critical of the deal negotiated by President Trump and his Afghan envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, who was responsible for negotiating withdrawal terms with the Taliban.
The commandos, who fought with United States Special Forces against the Taliban, told Fox News Digital, “I wasn’t surprised by the fall of the regime, but I’d like the U.S. to have such a bad ending with allies in Afghanistan. That he believes the plan was always to hand over Afghanistan to the Taliban.
“We didn’t surrender,” Khan said, when news spread of the Taliban’s capture of Kabul, adding that he was at his base in Kunar, in the country’s east. “I am now in a neighboring country and, if necessary, I can rejoin the resistance against this insane Taliban regime.