Ticket #3798 (new)

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We want to hear you (and give you 50% off)!


Main articles: 2021 Taliban offensive and Fall of Kabul (2021)
In the United States-Taliban Doha Agreement in February 2020, the US agreed to withdrawal all US forces from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. The Taliban failed to honor most of the pledges in the agreement. The US decided to continue with the planned withdrawal, although it pushed back the date to complete the withdrawal of military forces to August 31, 2021.

The Taliban and allied militant groups began a widespread offensive on 1 May 2021, concurrent with the withdrawal of most US troops from Afghanistan. In the ensuing months, the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan through a combination of negotiated wholesale surrenders of Afghan National Army units and their military offensive, capturing many provincial capitals, and expanding their control from 77 districts on April 13 to 104 districts on June 16 to 223 districts on August 3. In July 2021, the US Intelligence Community estimated that the government of Afghanistan could collapse between six to 12 months after the departure of American troops. Intelligence agencies later reduced the estimate to one month.

However, the government collapsed within days, much more rapidly than anticipated. The Afghan National Army, poorly led and impaired by widespread corruption, was left in chaos, having only two units remained operational by mid-August: the 201st Corps and 111th Division, both based in Kabul. Intelligence projections quickly worsened. By 14 August, the Taliban had encircled Kabul. On 15 August, Kabul fell and the Taliban declared victory in the War in Afghanistan.

As the Taliban seized control, the urgency to evacuate populations vulnerable to the Taliban, including those interpreters and assistants who had worked with the Operation Enduring Freedom; the International Security Assistance Force, Operation Freedom's Sentinel and the Resolute Support Mission; Hazara people; and vulnerable women and minorities, given the treatment of women by the Taliban, gained importance.

From 12 August
Since the Taliban had seized all border crossings, Kabul Airport remained the only secure route out of Afghanistan. After the fall of Herat on 12 August, the US and UK announced the deployment of 3,000 and 600 of their troops, respectively, to Kabul Airport in order to secure the airlifting of their nationals, embassy staff, and Afghan citizens who worked with coalition forces, out of the country. American officials said that all of their forces were still expected to leave Afghanistan by the end of August. A memorandum was sent to all embassy staff on 13 August to reduce "items with embassy or agency logos, American flags or items which could be misused in propaganda efforts". Small plumes of smoke could be seen near the embassy roof as diplomats were reported to be rapidly destroying classified documents and other sensitive mate

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