More than 1,000 Afghan soldiers have fled to neighbouring Tajikistan after clashing with Taliban militants, officials have said.
The troops retreated over the border to “save their own lives”, according to a statement by Tajikistan’s border guard.
Violence has risen in Afghanistan and the Taliban have been making significant gains, particularly in the north of the country, in recent weeks.
The surge coincides with the end of Nato’s 20-year military mission.
The vast majority of remaining foreign forces in Afghanistan have been withdrawn ahead of a September deadline, and there are concerns that the Afghan military will collapse.
As a matter of national interest, it was past time to pull back from Afghanistan. Notwithstanding the clumsy way in which we withdrew, we needed to do it. Unfortunately, the Afghan government is not strong enough to withstand the Taliban with their Neolithic methods.
What now? The reason we went into Afghanistan in the first place was because the Taliban, who ran the country, we providing safe haven for terrorists who attacked the U.S. It was a breeding ground for global terrorism. For 20 years, we have been successful in fighting them in their home base and disrupted their ability to strike out homeland. With our withdrawal, we are relying on the weak Afghan government to keep them in check. If (when) they fail and the Taliban takes over again, we will lose that check completely.
The good news is that 2021 is not 2000. Our advancements in technology, surveillance, and financial tools are substantial. Also, as we see from Biden’s recent attacks in Syria that went almost unmentioned, our willingness and ability to blow up a terrorist camp on foreign soil is different. Also, at least for the moment, we are more aware of the danger, but it seems that our domestic turmoil is making us ignore foreign threats at the moment. We can only focus on a limited number of things at one time.
So… we’ll see. The Taliban will have full control of Afghanistan by the end of the year. It will return to being a safe haven for terrorists who hate America. Has the Taliban learned the lesson and will keep their terrorists focused on domestic concerns to avoid 20-year forced hiatus from power? Will regional interests take more interest in their rogue neighbor? Will we go back to the state of things in 1999?
Time will tell.