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How the Taliban Overran the Afghan Army, Built by the U.S. Over 20 Years

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KABUL—The Afghan federal government outpost in Imam Sahib, a district of northern Kunduz province, held out for two months soon after being surrounded by the Taliban. At first, elite commando models would arrive after a week on a resupply run. Then, these operates turned additional scarce, as did the provides.

“In the very last days, there was no food items, no h2o and no weapons,” said trooper Taj Mohammad, 38. Fleeing in just one armored staff carrier and just one Ford Ranger, the remaining adult males finally produced a run to the relative protection of the provincial cash, which collapsed weeks later. They left behind a further eleven APCs to the Taliban.

As district soon after district fell in this summer’s Taliban offensive, devoid of substantially obvious support from the Afghan countrywide army and law enforcement forces, other troopers simply produced the calculation that it wasn’t worthy of fighting anymore—especially if the Taliban supplied them risk-free passage household, as they normally did.

“Everyone just surrendered their guns and ran absent,” said Rahimullah, a 25-12 months soldier who joined the army a 12 months ago and served in the Shahr-e-Bozorg district of northeastern Badakhshan province. “We didn’t get any aid from the central federal government, and so the district fell devoid of any fighting.”

Afghanistan’s countrywide army and law enforcement forces, theoretically numbering 350,000 adult males and qualified and outfitted at massive charge by the U.S. and Western allies, have been intended to be a highly effective deterrent to the Taliban. That is just one motive why President Biden, when he announced in April his choice to withdraw all American forces from Afghanistan, expressed self-assurance in the Afghan military’s capacity to keep ground.