Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 13, 2021

Afghanistan - This Is The End ...

This was fast. The Taliban have as of now 18 of 34 province capitals (province) under there control.  

  • August 6 - Zaranji (Nimruz)
  • August 7 - Sheberghan (Jowzjan)
  • August 8 - Kunduz (Kunduz)
  • August 8 - Sar-e Pol (Sar-e Pol)
  • August 8 - Talquan (Takhar)
  • August 9 - Aybak (Samangan)
  • August 10 - Farah (Farah)
  • August 10 - Pul-i Khumri (Baghlan)
  • August 11 - Faizabad (Badakhshan)
  • August 12 - Ghazni (Ghazni)
  • August 12 - Kandahar (Kandahar)
  • August 12 - Herat (Herat)
  • August 12 - Qala-e-Naw (Badghis)
  • August 13 - Lashkar Gah (Helmand)
  • August 13 - Tirin kot (Uruzgan)
  • August 13 - Chaghcharan (Ghor)
  • August 13 - Pul-e Alim (Logar)
  • August 13 - Qalat (Zabul)


Only three of the bigger cities, Kabul, Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif, are not yet in Taliban hands. 

Jalalabad and the eastern provinces near the border to Pakistan are Taliban heartland. They will fall automatically. Mazar-i-Sharif, home of the brutal warlord 'General' Dostum, may decide to fight to the end. The fate of Kabul is still open.

The other still yellow provinces will likely change hands with little or no fighting.

Paktﻯawal @Paktyaw4l - 9:06 UTC · Aug 13, 2021
My province has just announced they are surrendering to the Taliban without a fight, Gardez city will be spared from fighting. Scholars and tribal elders are telling government forces that the government is no more, no more fighting.

The U.S. is sending 3,000 soldiers to Kabul to secure the evacuation of its embassy. 650 soldiers are already there. A reserve of 5,000 is kept on bases near the Persian Gulf. Britain will send 600 soldiers. The U.S. will have to evacuate at least 4,000 'embassy' staff of which 1,400 are 'diplomats'.

The AP summarizes the situation:

The onslaught represents a stunning collapse of Afghan forces after the United States spent nearly two decades and $830 billion trying to establish a functioning state after toppling the Taliban in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The advancing Taliban ride on American-made Humvees and carry M-16s pilfered from Afghan forces.

Afghan security forces and the government have not responded to repeated questions from journalists, instead issuing video communiques that downplay the Taliban advance.

Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the Afghan army has rotted from within due to corruption and mismanagement, leaving troops in the field poorly equipped and with little motivation to fight. The Taliban, meanwhile, have spent a decade taking control of large swaths of the countryside, positioning themselves to rapidly seize key infrastructure and urban areas once President Joe Biden announced the U.S. withdrawal.

The difficulty of moving troops out to the provinces means the government is likely to focus all its efforts on defending the capital.

There is fear of a battle for Kabul but I find it unlikely that the Afghan army will take a stand. Who or what are the Afghan soldiers supposed to fight for? Its units are likely to negotiate a peaceful change of command as they have done elsewhere. They will then be told to go home. There may be some bodyguards of this or that warlord or politician who will try to protect their compounds. If they fight they will have little chance to survive.

President Ashraf Ghani and other politicians will soon retreat to their villas in Dubai. In a week or two the whole of Afghanistan may well be, for the first time ever, under total control of the Islamic Emirate.

Our politicians have lied to us over 'bringing democracy' to Afghanistan. Corruption, from Washington DC through Kabul down into the smallest army units in Afghanistan, had long destroyed all hope for better results.

The incompetent military leaders have disregarded their duty when they declared again and again that they have turned the corner of the fight. The intelligence people have never understood Afghanistan. How else could they have misjudged the speed of the current outcome?

All this was well known to anyone who read the reports by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. But lots of weapons were sold and lots of contractors made abstruse profits for projects that were never done. The war was a self licking ice cream cone.

It is good that this scam is now finally ending. The Afghan people will be mostly happy about it. Corruption will end. No more bribes will have to be paid.

The country will continue to be poor but much safer.

Posted by b on August 13, 2021 at 14:14 UTC | Permalink

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One corps and a division?!!?

Where do you have that data from?

If this is correct, Kabul will fall within days.

Posted by: Harald | Aug 14 2021 21:38 utc | 201

Sputnik reporting Taliban already in Kabul.

Wonder how that will work with the 5,000 US troops that just landed.

Any of those Stinger missiles they flooded the country with 40 years ago stil working? Wouldn't that be a fitting sting in the tail. I doubt even a planeload of US 'diplomats' (ahem, CIA warlords) going down by the very weapons they sold to terrorists could teach those degenerates to stop interfering in other countries.

Posted by: Et Tu | Aug 15 2021 8:07 utc | 202

Thanks to the articulate barfly who wrote recently:

'the empire of graveyards has met the graveyard of empires.'

I have used this expression today. How apt and how self destructive can it get.

Have a drink on me, cheers.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 15 2021 8:47 utc | 203

And not to forget, the real bloodshed will start when the last journalist will be gone. And that will be soon. It is so convenient to have the Fall of Saigon 2 to busy people just when they start to realize that vaccines do not work so well.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 15 2021 8:50 utc | 204

Taliban vil continue to move into outskirts of Kabul and slowly shrink the perimeter, staying close to civilians so air attacks are impossible.

It is likely they will constrict the entire city in a very slow fashion and the US/UK soldiers in there will have to stay in their shells in order to avoid being run over.

This is how it is to be at the complete mercy of the enemy.

Posted by: Harald | Aug 15 2021 9:24 utc | 205

We'll have to give a big cheer to the afghan people as a whole and the taliban in particular for their sly cunning in managing to be the first nation in history to prevail over occupying forces by keeping them inside their bases so those western forces gradually lost moral by being bored and feeling useless in their missions,confined to their numerous bases.The occupied watched gleefully the arrival of tons of equipment they knew would fall into their laps,simply because what is hauled in over two decades you can't haul out in two months.

The youth that enlisted in the Afghan National Army did so mainly to feed their own families,but in their right mind they vowed to themselves to do only the minimum required from them by the western military counsellors,who never understood that they were taken on by those whom they taught the use of western weaponry.Quite an idea to want to teach people from a warrior culture how to fight other people from the same culture.The bottom line is that the taliban now can throw out the warlords,because they have at least equal weaponry,and the support of the oppressed.

Actually the afghans enriched themselves whilst being bombed.

Still I find it hard to believe NATO will get out their comfortable position at striking distance from their big three enemies,i.e. Iran,Russia,China.
Maybe a very big false flag to start a new annihilation program with carpet-bombing?

Neighbouring countries will not let it happen,and if Taliban are clever they won't have to play out their neighbours one against the other,because the big new element is the Belt and Road Initiative which will be beneficial to all regional participants.

Posted by: willie | Aug 15 2021 9:41 utc | 206

Perhaps a military analogy would be the fate of Phonphem, the capital of Cambodia in 1975 when it was besieged by Pol Pots Khmer Rouge. Sure the 'government' of Lon Nol was a US puppet.

On a personal note: my late uncle Colin graduated as an electrical engineer a few months before WW11 and became superintendent of Lithgow power station in New South Wales. The town of Lithgow, which mined coal, produced electricity also housed the Lithgow Small Arms Factory.

Unfortunately the town of Lithgow housed the largest number of members of the Communist Party members in the whole of AUSTRALIA. At the time Uncle Joe Stalin had a temporary non aggression pact with the Nazis. So they had rolling strikes, first coal miner, then rail workers, then electricity workers. This brought arms production to a halt.

However, when Germany launched a war against the USSR the workers continued the disruption. Even when the Japanese army was at Australia's doorstep the rolling strikes continued. Arms production stopped.

This disruption continued until well after WW11, resulting in massive power blackouts. Labour PM Ben Chiffley called in the army to mine coal and put down the strikes. This is well known Australian history.

Uncle Colin went on to be a prominent engineer on Australia's Snowy Mountains project, but he never forgot the WW11 communist disruption in wartime.

So after his retirement he volunteered, as revenge, to assist Cambodia resist Pol Pot by keeping the power station operating until the end. As an act of appreciation was given a jewelled hat which I still have as one of my possessions.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 15 2021 10:01 utc | 207

Appears so far to be one of the most overwhelming victories of a war campaign in history.

An entire country overrun in 10 days; very low casualties and (what appears to be) very low civilian deaths.

No matter one's opinion about Islamic fundamentalist warriors, this is an unprecedented performance and will be studied by those who are honest into figuring out how warfare has evolved.

Posted by: Harald | Aug 15 2021 12:25 utc | 208


Posted by: Mina | Aug 15 2021 12:59 utc | 209

Posted by: Mina | Aug 15 2021 12:59 utc | 209

Thank you, unprecedent my ass. Predictable and predicted, before they even went in. What normally happens at the end of stupid wars.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 15 2021 13:24 utc | 210

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