July 25, 2021

In Afghanistan, the Taliban maneuver to surround Kabul

The end of twenty years of Western presence in Afghanistan takes on the appearance of a bankruptcy trustee. After months of simulacrum peace negotiations between enemy Afghan brothers, Washington, followed by all its allies, accelerated its withdrawal from September 11 to July 4, leaving the initiative to Taliban insurgents whose strategy is gradually emerging. According to information gathered from military and diplomatic sources, in Afghanistan, they are advancing throughout the territory, but abandoning the provincial capitals and maneuvering to cut off the main roads and ultimately encircle the Afghan capital, Kabul.

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Since the beginning of May, within the Afghan government as in the offices of the UN or those of the American command which organizes, at the same time, its departure, the count falls every day: that of the new districts fallen into the hands of the Taliban. On the morning of June 30, the balance sheet reported four new lost districts, all in the northern part of the country, far from the Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan. Among them, we note that of Alasay in the province of Kapisa, north of Kabul, under the guard of French troops between 2008 and 2012, and that of Kaldar in the province of Balkh, on the border with Uzbekistan.

Every day, the Taliban disseminate on social networks videos of surrender of local police forces or soldiers of the regular army

“For ten days we have seen a sharp acceleration in Taliban activity, we thought they would start by getting their hands on the South, but they remain on a tactic of nibbling the country and putting pressure on the provincial capitals without taking them, they show that they are powerful in the non-Pashtun zones of the North and seem above all anxious to isolate the capital ”, analyzes a Western diplomat, stationed in Kabul, who is careful, however, to predict the near future. The Taliban claim to control nearly ninety districts out of the 421 identified in the country.

Every day, they post on social networks the videos of surrender of local police forces or soldiers of the regular army. In the province of Laghman, east of the capital, as in the north of Helmand, fortified posts fell without a fight. The insurgents have sometimes sent “gray beards”, the elders of the villages, to convey their messages to the government security forces who have agreed to leave for their lives. The Taliban have controlled, since June 22, the main exit route to Tajikistan, a key axis for economic relations with Central Asia. Some of the routed Afghan forces had to find refuge on the Tajik side.

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