by BILL ROGGIO
The Taliban’s seemingly unstoppable offensive, which has seen the group take control of half of Afghanistan’s provinces in only nine days, is circling around the country’s capital and largest city in Kabul. The Taliban took control of the provinces of Paktika and Kunar today, and is consolidating its control of the east in preparation for its culminating assault on Kabul.
The Taliban abandoned Kabul in Nov. 2001, shortly after the U.S. invasion. The war-torn city’s population was then hovering around 500,000 but has rapidly urbanized in the two decades since, serving as the center for Afghanistan’s growing middle class, and Kabul’s population today is estimated at 4.6 million.
Now, Kabul is under direct threat of falling to the Taliban. The Taliban is close to taking most, if not all of eastern Afghanistan and has already secured the route to Kabul by taking control of Ghazni, Logar, and Paktika over the past three days.
The Taliban has entered Maidan Shahr and Gardez, the capitals of Wardak and Gardez. Given the swift fall of 18 provinces and 20 capitals, it is unlikely those two cities will hold out for long in this tidal wave of Taliban victories.
If Maidan Shahr and thus Wardak fall, the Taliban will be knocking at the gates of Kabul. Wardak is just seven miles from the city.
Sharan, the capital of the eastern province of Paktika, and Asadabad, the capital of Kunar in the northeast, fell to the Taliban after just two short days under pressure. Both capitals were fully government controlled before the Taliban waltzed into the city and seized them with minimal fighting. The Taliban preceded the assaults on Sharan and Asadabad by taking control of key districts in the provinces over the past several days.
The Afghan military is in complete disarray, and has been defeated in detail across the country. The Afghan National Army has four of its seven corps headquarters – the 205th in Herat, 207th in Kandahar, the 2015th in Helmand, and the 217th in Kunduz. Gardez hosts the the 203d Corps; if that city is taken, only two army corps will remain, and the 209th Corps is under seige in Mazar-i-Sharif. The Army National Army’s 111th Division is also headquartered in Kabul.
Wow. Who (besides EVERYONE) could have seen this coming? Idiot Biden, just before he shut down shop and went on vacation from his strenuous regimen of staying awake long enough to tell lies, assured us the Afghan army of 300,000 would NEVER let something like this happen. They folded in less than a month.
Now we’re dropping 5,000 troops into harm’s way. Great job, Obiden. Just like Iraq.