Taliban are Taking Afghanistan's 3rd Largest City

“It is not inevitable,” Biden said, later adding: “The likelihood that there’s going to be a Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”

Highly unlikely. Both sides had a strategy. 

The Obama-Biden strategy was to hide how badly we were doing. The Taliban strategy was gradually taking territory and building power.

The Taliban has used its rural insurgency strategy of taking control of remote districts to push closer to the provincial capitals. The rural areas are used to recruit and train fighters, raise funds, resupply, and launch attacks into neighboring districts and the population centers....

The rural districts are vital to the Taliban’s insurgency. The U.S. military, including Generals Nicholson and Miller, the previous and last commander of U.S. Forces – Afghanistan and Resolute Support Mission, has been dismissive of this Taliban strategy. Instead, the U.S. and NATO focused on a population-centric counterinsurgency, which allowed the Taliban to gain control of the rural districts.

Now the Taliban are beginning to move in on major cities. Including some of Afghanistan's largest cities.

A government Humvee billows thick black smoke in a residential street of Afghanistan’s third-largest city and cultural capital Herat, marking the site of an inner-city front line.

Gun shots are fired intermittently and A-29 attack aircraft rumble through the sky overhead, as the city faces its first real threat from the Taliban since the US invasion two decades ago.

The Taliban insurgent group took control of the Guzara district, where the city’s international airport is located, for a few hours on Friday afternoon.

The same day, fighting spilt on to the main motorway towards the airfield and rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire targeted the entrance to the UN compound in the area.

The Taliban advance, as before, has been made possible by the usual international Jihadist front particularly from their real base in Pakistan.

“The Taliban are not alone, they have a huge amount of volunteer fighters from Pakistan,” said the Afghan official.

The Taliban are also pushing into Kandahar. But the Biden administration is on top of things.

“Yes, certainly what we’re seeing on the ground in the last week is the Taliban making advances on district centers, challenging some provincial capitals. We’ve also seen these reports of atrocities committed by the Taliban in areas that it’s taken over that are deeply, deeply troubling, and certainly do not speak well to the Taliban’s intentions for the country as a whole,” Blinken said on Wednesday.

Blinken said that the U.S. was “very much engaged in Afghanistan” and mentioned the U.S.’s efforts to bring both sides together to negotiate the conflict.

Can't imagine that not working out.

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