On camera, US President Joe Biden insists the Afghan National Army can stop the Taliban. But it became clear yesterday how closely Americans view the progress being made behind closed doors in Afghanistan.
A few weeks before the United States planned to withdraw its last troops from the country, the Americans and the United Kingdom announced that they would send new troops to Kabul. Above all, not to fight the Taliban, but to safely evacuate (embassy) personnel in the capital. This seems like an emergency measure. The Pentagon is sending a significant 3,000 troops to this day. England sends 600 troops. If the situation gets out of control, an additional 3,500 U.S. troops will be sent to allied Kuwait.
The announcement comes as the Taliban continues to grow rapidly in the country. One after another fell into the hands of jihadists as American and NATO troops withdrew. Within a week, the Taliban had seized 13 of the 34 regional capitals, including Kandahar, the second-largest city yesterday.
The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan before the Western invasion, said the pace of recovery was a setback for NATO allies. But experts say the defeat of the Western-trained Afghan army by the Taliban is not a big surprise.
With 180,000 troops, the National Army is four times larger than the Taliban. But jihadists are strong with firepower and determination. The pro-Pakistan Taliban have plenty of weapons, while Afghan troops have little faith in President Ashraf Ghani’s government. Every day, the Taliban expel troops threatening to pay or retaliate. Rumors are circulating that Afghan soldiers have already laid down their arms as the Taliban approaches.
The past one year
The Americans are still supporting their Afghan allies with airstrikes. But these heavy artillery cannot be used effectively because the Taliban often live in civilian homes.
Meanwhile, the US military is said to be taking into account that Kabul could fall in a very short time. U.S. military sources said on an anonymous basis this week Washington Post Domestically it was taken into account that Kabul would fall in thirty days, while the capital could withstand at least a year. This explains the emergency evacuation.
According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, the move does not mean that Americans will continue to fight the Taliban. According to the State Department, the US embassy will remain open, and the departure will not affect ‘long-term relations with the Afghan government’, a ministry spokesman said. As long as there is rest in it.
The Netherlands also hopes to keep its embassy as open as possible, but is making arrangements in case the embassy staff and military personnel are to be withdrawn. This is what Foreign Ministers Sikrit Gock and Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said on Friday morning.
According to Biden, the last 650 U.S. troops in Kabul are due to leave the country next month. NATO forces, including the Dutch, follow in the footsteps of the United States.
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