The Afghan government has been dealt a crippling blow in the last 24 hours with two major cities falling to the Taliban. Kandahar, the second largest city in the country, and Herat are now under the control of Taliban forces. Ghanzi, Laskar Gah, and Ghor have fallen as well. The United States, Great Britain and other Western nations are preparing to evacuate their embassies in Kabul. The number of US troops to be deployed will number 3,000. They have reportedly already started arriving in the Afghan capital and according to some reports this evening, US airstrikes against government military installations in Kandahar have been launched. The purpose of these strikes was to destroy government military facilities and deny use of equipment and weapons to the Taliban. If further strikes are launched, their purpose will likely be to slow the Taliban advance down and buy time for the US and its allies to complete the embassy evacuations.
The writing is on the wall now. Kabul will fall and the current government will be replaced by the Taliban in a matter of days. China has already stated it will recognize a Taliban government in the event Kabul is taken. There are reports coming out of the country now that the Afghan government has proposed a power-sharing arrangement with the Taliban. If accurate, this can only be viewed as a plea of desperation in the eleventh hour. Which means the government in Kabul is keenly aware the end is in sight.
As the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate and governments around the world prepare for the return of the Taliban to power, I think we might be discussing related subjects here through the weekend at least.