“Kabul can fall in 90 days” – time.news

by time news
from Lorenzo Cremonesi

The Afghan capital invaded by thousands of refugees. Biden reiterates: “The country must defend itself”

Accept it could be surrounded byTaliban armed columns in a month and within 90 days it risks being conquered. The revelations of the Washington Post, which cites “senior sources of American military intelligence”, are bouncing around in the Afghan capital fueling panic. «Here we are invaded by thousands of refugees fleeing from the provinces of the Northwest, all already under Taliban control or closely threatened by war. They are mostly women, children, elderly: they camp on the streets, in parks, in the stadium, in front of hospitals. There are no seats on departing flights.

Those who can and have a visa flee abroad. On social media, which the Taliban now also use very well for terrorize the population, bounceshootings stories mass, and torture of military, police and government officials. The Taliban would have promised in brides the fifteen-year-old Afghans to the volunteers who come from Pakistan and Islamic countries to fight alongside them ”, tells us a local journalist who does not want to be identified.

The rest is not new prediction of US intelligence. Already at the end of June, the American commands and the major international observers expressed serious doubts about the holding capacity by the security forces, including the approximately 350,000 soldiers armed and trained for over fifteen years by the international coalition with astronomical costs. “They could collapse within six months,” they argued.

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The most widespread assessment at the moment is therefore that, less than military interventions from abroad, Kabul could indeed be taken by the Taliban well before the end of the year. Joe Biden repeats that it is now the turn of the Afghans, al governo di Ashraf Ghani and all those local forces that traditionally are enemies of the Taliban movement, to take their fate in hand and fight.

The US Air Force is stepping up raids in support of the regular army, but the results appear to be limited and instead cause civilian deaths and injuries by mistake. In a nutshell: understand what happens, the Americans at this point leave Afghanistan to its fate. In the peace dialogues in Doha they ask the Taliban to stop the fighting, they reply by demanding the release of 7,000 of their prisoners in the hands of Kabul and in the meantime take advantage of the favorable moment.

The results are now there for all to see: the Taliban advance appears unstoppable. They now control all major border points from Iran to Uzbekistan and Pakistan. In less than a week they have conquered a dozen provincial capitals, including the important commercial hub of Kunduz. In the last few hours Farah has also fallen, where the Italian contingent operated until a few years ago. Herat is surrounded and so too Kandahar e Lashkar Gah.

The Taliban show that they have a very coherent strategy and are appealing to the population to stay in their homes. “Do not believe the rumors about our cruelties circulated by corrupt government and their disbelieving allies,” they write on social media. They avoid attacking the last remnants of the American force on the ground, however, destined to evacuate by August 31, leaving only 650 marines in defense of the embassy in Kabul.

The Taliban are in Badakhshan, they are positioning themselves to take the Vakhan corridor and this alarms China, as the area borders its Muslim province. Meanwhile, Ghani flies to the besieged city of Mazar-i-Sharif to encourage old warlords such as Uzbekistani Abdul Rashid Dostum, who in 2001 was accused of “war crimes” for letting hundreds of Taliban die of thirst. container in the sun. Another possible ally could be the Tajik Atta Mohammad Noor. TO Herat the 75-year-old leads the Hazara resistance Ismail Khan, former hero of the anti-Soviet struggle.

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But all of this comes at a price. Ghani proves that he has no confidence in the new army and resorts to the old corrupt and patronizing logic of the direct relationship with the ethnic and tribal clans. The same that led to the collapse of the country.

August 11, 2021 (change August 12, 2021 | 00:27)

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