How did the Taliban take over Afghanistan so quickly? – News Vibe24

    How did the Taliban take over Afghanistan so quickly? - Times of India
    KABUL: The Taliban’s astonishing and rapid occupation of Afghanistan was the result not only of their strength on the battlefield, but also of a constant push to force admissions and close deals.
    The guerrillas mixed threats and lures with propaganda and psychological warfare as they captured city after city – some with minimal gunfire – eventually occupying the capital Kabul.
    How did this happen?
    As foreign troops began their final withdrawal in May, Washington and Kabul were convinced that the Afghan army would fight hard against the Taliban.
    With more than 300,000 personnel and multibillion-dollar equipment more advanced than the Taliban’s arsenal, Afghan forces were formidable on paper.
    In fact, they have been plagued by corruption, poor leadership, lack of education, and low morale for years. Deserts were commonplace, and U.S. government inspectors had long warned that the force was unsustainable.
    Afghan forces put up strong resistance this summer in some areas, such as Laskar Gah in the south, but now face the Taliban without regular airstrikes and US military support.
    Faced with the smallest but highly motivated and cohesive enemy, many soldiers and even entire units simply abandoned or surrendered, leaving the insurgents to occupy city by city.
    The seeds for the collapse were sown last year when Washington signed an agreement with the rebels for the complete withdrawal of its troops.
    For the Taliban, it was the beginning of their victory after almost two decades of war. For many annihilated Afghans, it was betrayal and abandonment.
    They continued to attack government forces, but began to combine them with targeted killings of journalists and rights activists, fueling an environment of fear.
    They also sparked a narrative about the inevitable victory of the Taliban in their propaganda and psychological operations.
    Soldiers and local officials reportedly bombarded some areas with text messages urging them to surrender or cooperate with the Taliban to avoid a worse fate.
    Many were offered safe passage if they did not fight, while others were approached through tribes and village elders.
    With Afghan forces unable to stem the Taliban’s advance, many of Afghanistan’s famous – and notorious – warlords rallied in their militias and promised a black eye to the Taliban if they attacked their cities.
    But with confidence sinking in the Afghan government’s ability to survive, do not bother the guerrillas, the writing was also on the wall for the warlords.
    Their cities fell without a fight. Warlord Ismail Khan in the western city of Herat was captured by the Taliban as he fell.
    Abdul Rashid Dostum and Atta Mohammad Noor in the north fled to Uzbekistan as members of their militia abandoned their humvees, weapons and even uniforms on the road outside Mazar-i-Sharif.
    The Taliban had reportedly begun making deals and delivering deals long before their blitz began in May.
    From individual soldiers and low-level government officials to apparently provincial governors and ministers, insurgents have pushed for deals – with the Taliban still victorious, why start a fight?
    The strategy proved to be extremely effective.
    The images from their last march in Kabul were not corpses on the streets and bloody battlefields, but Taliban and government officials sitting comfortably on couches formalizing the tradition of cities and provinces.
    According to US estimates, less than a month before the fall of Kabul, the Afghan government could collapse in 90 days.
    But once the Taliban captured their first provincial capital, it took less than two weeks.

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