Marion McKeone: Taliban close in on Afghan capital as US cuts and runs after 20 wasted years

The Taliban's return to power represents a huge personal humiliation for Joe Biden and, far more importantly, a looming humanitarian catastrophe for Afghanistan’s people

15th August, 2021
Marion McKeone: Taliban close in on Afghan capital as US cuts and runs after 20 wasted years
A Taliban fighter holds a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) along the roadside in Herat, Afghanistan's third-biggest city, after government forces pulled out the day before. Picture: Getty

“You have the watches, but we have the time” is an old Afghan proverb. Repurposed by the Taliban following the American invasion of late 2001 which led to their ousting, it has proven chillingly accurate as they seize the opportunity presented to them by the US’s withdrawal of forces and the scaling back of its air power in Afghanistan.

That the Americans would eventually abandon their mission in Afghanistan was never in...

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