The Taliban is fighting inside Herat City, has seized control of a key district, and has taken control of the road that connects the provincial capital with the airport.
The Taliban’s rural insurgency strategy is clearly seen in Kandahar province, where the provincial capital of Kandahar City is now under direct threat of falling under Taliban control.
The Taliban and al Qaeda advanced throughout Afghanistan after President Biden announced the withdrawal of American and NATO forces on Apr. 14.
The Taliban’s strategy of seizing rural districts has not only allowed it to surround major cities and put pressure on population centers, it has also enabled it to squeeze the Afghan government’s revenue from goods crossing the border.
The Taliban entered Qala-i-Naw, the provincial capital of Badghis, stormed the city’s prison and freed inmates, and briefly seized control of the governor’s office and the police and National Directorate of Security headquarters before government forces counterattacked.
The importance of the Taliban’s northern thrust cannot be understated. If the Taliban can deny Afghanistan’s government and its backers their base of power, Afghanistan is effectively lost.
The Taliban’s multiyear strategy of gaining influence in the rural districts to pressure the population centers is paying dividends.
The Taliban has gone on the offensive in northern Afghanistan and is on the verge of taking control of Kunduz province if Afghan security forces cannot stay the siege of Kunduz City. Kunduz is one of eight provinces in danger of falling to the Taliban before U.S. forces are scheduled to completely withdraw in September. […]