THAT is the story in a new NY Times piece….
The country simply cannot defend itself against the Taliban ….
Foreign intervention in the country has been effort to stop the decades old brutal back and forth between factions there….
Those foreign troops could be encamped in the country forever…..
The Taliban’s brazen offensive has put the Biden administration into a dangerous political bind. Under the deal struck by President Donald J. Trump with the Taliban last year, all foreign troops — including the remaining 2,500 American service members who support Afghanistan’s beleaguered army and security forces — are scheduled to withdraw by May 1, leaving the country in an especially precarious state.
If the Biden administration honors the withdrawal date, officials and analysts fear the Taliban could overwhelm what’s left of the Afghan security forces and take control of major cities like Kandahar in a push for a complete military victory or a broad surrender by the Afghan government in the ongoing peace negotiations.
But if the United States delays its withdrawal deadline, as a congressionally appointed panel recommended on Feb. 3, the Taliban would most likely consider the 2020 deal with the United States void, which could lead to renewed attacks on American and NATO troops, and potentially draw the United States deeper into the war to defend Afghan forces, whom the Taliban could still retaliate vigorously against.
“The threat of Taliban military victories, especially in an area as symbolic and strategic as Kandahar, makes it difficult for the Biden administration to swallow the risks of finalizing a troop withdrawal,” said Andrew Watkins, a senior analyst on Afghanistan for the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based conflict resolution organization. “Pulling out might be politically impossible if Kandahar was on the nightly news.”…