“Do I trust the Taliban? No, but I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped and more competent in terms of conducting war.”
– President Joe Biden, USA
Despite these words of assurance by the US President, the Taliban has made significant gains after a peace deal was signed by the Taliban and the United States which was part of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to minimise American involvement in foreign affairs that he deemed as not being beneficial to the US.
When the peace deal was signed, around 13,000 US military personnel were stationed in Afghanistan with the purpose to arm and train the Afghan government forces (military, police and militias) in their fight against the Taliban. Due to the withdrawal of the US Armed Forces, the Afghan government must now fight the Taliban and other insurgent groups such as Al-Qaeda alone.
There are also reports of mass defections by Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel into the ranks of the Taliban, increasing the strength of the Taliban in terms of both arms and men. There have been reports of the Taliban using equipment either left by the American forces or sieged from the ANA.
The Taliban now controls most of the countryside, whilst the Afghan forces cling onto the capital city of Kabul and its surrounding areas. Some speculate that the fall of the Afghan government to the Taliban, is inevitable.