Washington: Even those who had anticipated a Taliban dominance in Afghanistan post the departure of US forces, seem to be taken aback by the pace at which the Taliban advance is happening. Wall Street Journal has reported that it has dismayed US allies who were part of the US alliance, and worries about the value of US commitments overseas.
As a sign of fluidity of the situation and worrying security situation, India has asked its citizens to return home and sent a plane to ferry them back. Also, the US military and State Department have, apparently unexpectedly, come to realise that the Taliban advance is happening fast and they have expedited evacuation efforts to cover the well-staffed American embassy if the in Kabul situation warrants it.
Before the current Taliban offensive, US officials had been saying that they didn't expect the takeover of any provincial capital until fall at the earliest. But the latest US intelligence assessment said, Kabul could fall to militants in as soon as a month. US officials now worry that Afghan civilians, soldiers and others will flee the city ahead of a Taliban assault, the report said.
When US President Joe Biden this spring announced the decision to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, his administration expected the Afghan military to defend key cities and perhaps battle the Taliban to a stalemate.
Instead, a carefully planned strategy carried out by the Taliban has produced swift battlefield advances, allowing insurgents to seize a succession of provincial capitals since Friday. Three more fell Tuesday, bringing the total to nine, including several major cities.
(With IANS inputs)