Since I wrote my overview about the causes and implication of the Kabul disaster things have not improved in the least.
It is clear that the “Biden” administration has tried very hard to do some damage control, but that only made things even worse (just think of Biden’s talks to the nation). It is also clear that there is no way the US can evacuate all its citizens, nevermind former employees, before the Taliban deadline expires. Besides, the Taliban have already sealed off the airport and do not let any Afghan nationals enter anymore.
One sentence spoken by a Russian analyst about what Biden called the “American heroes” struck me as particularly well suited to the current chaos: “soldiers have to become heroes when their commanders make a major mistake“. This is almost always true, with some exceptions, of course.
Then there is the not so heroic “retaliation” promised by Biden. Apparently, so say local TV, a US attack drone did kill a local ISIS fighter already driving a car with explosives towards the airport. That strike, in downtown Kabul, also destroyed 2 homes and killed three families, 12 civilians including 7 kids (ages 2 to 10)! That will *not* help anything or convince anyone to take US threats seriously. Remember the Takfiri slogan “we love death more than you love life“? But the hatred will only increase following this latest atrocity.
By September 1st, in 2 days from now, the situation of the many tens of thousands of collaborators, employee, local aides, etc. and their families will become extremely dangerous unless some major power intervenes and puts pressure on the Taliban. Possible, but not very likely.
I need to mention one hypothesis: that the ISIS-K suicide bombers might have had accomplices inside the Taliban. If we consider Taliban as one unitary uniform movement, this hypothesis makes no sense. But if we see the Taliban as a loosely federated movement of different entities and tribes, then this makes a lot more sense. Keep in mind that five of the current Taliban “ministers” are former GITMO residents with all that implies…
As for the Taliban, they appear to be truly trying to first restore some order to Kabul. They are also trying hard to explain what they intend to do. It sure looks like the new Taliban are a notch up from the old one. That does not mean that I like them, or approve, just that this is what I am observing now.
For example, the Taliban have promised a general amnesty to all those who collaborated with the US, but that only means that orders to shoot are less likely to come from the top. But the local gun-toting Taliban foot-“soldiers” (I use this term very generously) will, as always, do whatever the hell they want, locally and away from cellphone cameras.