Taliban flaunts military gains in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (NBC) – As the U.S. withdraws the last of its troops from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of war there, the Taliban are already on the move and gaining ground.

Emboldened by the U.S. withdrawal, the Taliban are making lightning advances, capturing former U.S. bases. The America-trained Afghan troops left in charge are often surrendering or running away. And with the bases come the spoils. The Taliban are taking huge stockpiles of weapons, American-bought guns, ammunition and vehicles, making future advances easier.

This is exactly how ISIS took control after U.S. forces pulled out of Iraq.

The Taliban are closing in on Kabul where the changes brought by 20 years of American protections are at risk, especially for women. The Taliban repressed and beat women for the tiniest of infractions they considered un-Islamic, like speaking in public.

NBC went to a photoshoot for a new modeling agency in Kabul. For the Taliban, this is an abomination.

Huma Sarferazi did a recent ad for a soft drink. She said, “International forces are leaving and people think the Taliban will return, so people are really concerned…  we’re all really concerned.”

Dina Abid does runway shows. When asked what would happen if she returned to her village which has been taken over by the Taliban, dressed how she was, she replied, “We will die.”

The Afghan security forces are collapsing more quickly than some U.S. intelligence anticipated, as Kabul is increasingly encircled.

Encouraged and emboldened by the Taliban’s advances, multiple Afghan officials told NBC that al-Qaeda fighters and ISIS fighters are coming now into Afghanistan through Pakistan, the same route al-Qaeda took before 9/11.

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