Analysis: Taliban takes over Afghanistan capitol, Biden shares remarks


Caleb Audia

In a graphic made by senior Assistant News Editor and Multimedia Director Caleb Audia, photos of Afghan citizens and US Military service members are shown. The Taliban took over all major Afghanistan cities, including the capitol, Kabul, and presidential palace on Sunday, Aug. 15. “Afghanistan’s political leaders gave up and fled the country,” US President Joe Biden said in an address on Monday, Aug. 16. “Their military collapsed.”

After President Joe Biden announced a plan of action on Saturday, Aug. 14, 6,000 United States military troops will be deployed to Afghanistan to help Americans leave, following reports of the take-over against Mazar-i-Sharif and Kabul, the nation’s capital by the Taliban.  These last major cities had remained untouched until this week by the terrorist group. The evacuation of U.S. troops and other Americans will put an end to the United States’ active involvement in the 20-year war.

The Taliban’s accelerated actions caused the current Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, to flee the country for safety, while many diplomats and residents pushed toward the same measures. Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai reported that a council is being created to “prevent chaos and reduce the suffering for the people and to better manage the affairs related to peace.”

The Afghan government’s collapse and flee gave headway into the Taliban’s seizing of the Afghan presidential palace on Sunday, Aug. 15. U.S. military helicopters could be seen throughout the weekend, evacuating Americans and others from the U.S. Embassy, while paratroopers deployed throughout the country, in an effort to bring a state of order in a country where reports indicate all Afgan military personal “seemingly vanished.”

The Taliban is feared for their terroristic behaviors and military threats, and most popularly enforcing the removal of Afghan women’s rights. While the Taliban “promised a peaceful transition” of power and haven’t engaged in any actions of violence against the citizens of these newly overturned cities, the U.S. Embassy has instructed the American citizens deployed and stationed around the Embassy to shelter in place.

Thousands of Afghans attempting to flee the country have been congregated at the airports, hopeful to receive visas to take refuge in the United States and other foreign countries as quickly as possible. Videos and photos of these citizens clinging to airplanes, some individuals falling thousands of feet out of the sky after taking off outside of an aircraft, specifically a USAF C-17, surfaced on the internet late Sunday night.

The takeover of Kabul marks the end to “America’s longest war,” known as the War on Terror, which has started since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Biden addressed the nation Monday, Aug. 16, at 3:45 EST. to discuss the rapid development of the situation in Afghanistan.

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“There was no agreement for protecting American soldiers after May 1,” Biden said during his address. “There was only a cold reality, … following through with our agreement or escalating the conflict and sending thousands of American troops back into deployment for a third decade of combat.”

Many Republican political leaders in the United States were quick to point out flaws in Biden’s plan of action and their anger in the Afghan government. During a private briefing with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley,  House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy disapproved of Biden’s tactics.

“I have passion and I have anger,” McCarthy said. “I want to know where President (Ashraf) Ghani is.”

U.S. officials reported that they’ve miscalculated the intensity of the issues in Afghanistan throughout the weekend. Blinken stated that “the fact of the matter is we’ve seen that that force has been unable to defend the country … and that has happened more quickly than we anticipated.”

“I will not pass this decision to a fifth U.S. President,” Biden said,  as he referred to the length of the War on Terror,  as he finished up the Monday, Aug. 16 address. “It is the right decision for our people, and our service members. It’s the right one for America.”

The featured image is a digitally constructed image by Caleb Audia with copyright free photos, courtesy of