After an exodus of citizens, including the embattled president himself, the Taliban have taken over the Afghan capital. The frenzied atmosphere and subsequent panic in the state were brought to an outrageous end with the new entrants, who put a close to the government as well as the 20-year American reign in the country.
While Afghan President Ashraf Ghani swiftly fled the country, other spokespersons including former President Hamid Karzai declared the possibility of an open negotiation with the Taliban. The claim was supported by Talibani Representative Suhail Shaheen, who said the insurgents would conduct talks to form an “open, inclusive Islamic government.”
Despite prior tension in the state, the American government was left baffled by the rapid takeover of the Taliban and the violence that followed. In response, the American administration scurried to arrange an evacuation plan for the American diplomats and embassy workers.
The plan came in the form of military helicopters from America, which took most of the American workers to the Kabul airport. In contrast, the airport for citizens next door witnessed the plight of Afghans as they pleaded with officials to put their families on a flight out of there.
The recent Taliban takeover traces back to the events that unfolded in the same country two decades ago. Back in Sept 2001, the American troops had entered Afghanistan to fight the Al-Qaeda terrorists who had attacked the state.
From then till now, America was rebuilding the country with its set of inconsistent policies and a powerful force, whose power was underestimated, to say the least. A good number of American troops and civilians had died in the war that broke out then.
So many of them had even been displaced from their homes. In wake of the recent takeover, nearly thousands of those civilians rushed to Kabul as their only left hope. However, the American training and provision weren’t substantial enough to host an army that was willing to fight for a beleaguered nation.
Did Biden make the wrong decision here?
In Washington, the rapid fall of the state sent waves of shock across the American government. It also came with the humiliating realization that President Biden will be remembered as the leader who saw the end to a lengthy American story in Afghanistan.
With the takeover completed, Afghan residents are at the hands of the indomitable Taliban once again. Though some say they have ‘changed’, the signs of their stringent Islamic policies and strict conquest are still conspicuous. In fear of the Taliban’s rule, people in Kabul have already started to conceal ads of women at salons.
On Sunday evening, the Taliban army proclaimed that their forces were in the process of shifting to areas that were abandoned by the government. According to spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, the army is entering the area of Kabul with extreme “caution.” It also added how they were advised to not inflict harm on citizens during the capture.
As the state became enshrouded with darkness and fear for the known, the United States Embassy told American citizens to stay at home rather than come to the airport. The terminal was in a state of chaos and panic as thousands of people rushed to jump on to the flight out of Kabul.
Many of the Afghan forces had immediately surrendered to the Taliban, all in exchange for a “safe passage” and money. In conversation with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Anthony J. Blinken blamed the “inability of Afghan security forces” for the current day situation.
The American Embassy had been closed down on Sunday after the sensitive documents had been lost in the fire. Even the American flag was pushed down and shifted to the staging area at the military airport. And as people fled out of the country, thousands of Afghans were left to the wrath of the reigning Taliban.
The events that unfolded in Afghanistan were exactly what the Biden administration had aimed to evade in his rule. This is primarily because a solid comparison would now be made with the invasion of Saigon by the North Vietnamese troops in April 1975.