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Scrambling

Taliban Declare "War Is Over" As New Regime Dawns

foreignpolicy.com
8 min read
standard
Thousands await evacuation from Afghanistan as Biden faces criticism for U.S. withdrawal.
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Here is today's Foreign Policy brief: Afghanistan's government collapses in Taliban rout, Haiti earthquake kills at least 1,300, and opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema wins Zambia's presidential election .

Here is today's Foreign Policy brief: Afghanistan's government collapses in Taliban rout, Haiti earthquake kills at least 1,300, and opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema wins Zambia's presidential election.

If you would like to receive Morning Brief in your inbox every weekday, please sign up here.

Kabul Falls, Sealing Taliban Victory

Less than two weeks after the Taliban seized their first provincial capital, the Afghan government is no more. The Islamist group has now retaken Kabul, President Ashraf Ghani has fled, and Western powers are scrambling to evacuate their embassy staff.

Even as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken protested: "This is manifestly not Saigon," on ABC on Sunday, thousands sought refuge at Kabul's international airport in scenes that struck some observers as reminiscent of the fall of South Vietnam in 1975 as crowds fled toward departing aircraft.

One thousand more U.S. troops are now being deployed to Afghanistan to speed the exit mission, bringing total U.S. military numbers to 6,000 in the country. There were reports of five deaths amid gunfire at the airport on Monday morning, possibly due to a stampede, as desperate Afghans sought to board airplanes by climbing baggage chutes.

Ghani gone. While Ghani has fled—with some reports placing him in Uzbekistan or Tajikistan—his predecessor Hamid Karzai has stayed, as has Ghani's onetime rival Abdullah Abdullah, with both remaining leaders offering to help facilitate a peaceful transition—presumably to complete Taliban control.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem told Al Jazeera that the "war is over" and that the makeup of its new government would be announced soon. Seeking to…
Colm Quinn
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