Restoration of Kabul’s closed airport begins as some Afghan aid resumes

Afghanistan’s plunge into chaos, isolation and near-destitution under its newly ascendant Taliban rulers appeared to slow Thursday, with the first significant moves to salvage Kabul’s inoperable airport, an increased flow of UN aid and word that international money transfers had resumed to the country, where many banks are shuttered. But these developments did not signal … Read more

Biden expected to decide within 24 hours on Afghan evacuation deadline

With thousands of desperate Afghans and foreigners massed at Kabul’s airport in the hope of fleeing Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers, U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to decide as soon as Tuesday on whether to extend an Aug. 31 deadline to airlift Americans and their allies to safety. Biden warned on Sunday that the evacuation … Read more

Taliban will be judged by deeds, not words, says Boris Johnson ahead of G7 meet

The Taliban will be judged by its deeds rather than words, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday ahead of chairing an emergency G7 virtual meet to coordinate international response to the Afghan crisis. Downing Street said that during the meeting Tuesday, the UK PM will call on the Group of Seven leaders from Canada, … Read more

Did the war in Afghanistan have to happen?

Taliban fighters brandished Kalashnikovs and shook their fists in the air after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, defying American warnings that if they did not hand over Osama bin Laden, their country would be bombed to smithereens. The bravado faded once American bombs began to fall. Within a few weeks, many of the Taliban … Read more

Allies embraced Biden, did Kabul lay bare ‘great illusion’?

Well before US President Joe Biden took office early this year, the European Union’s foreign policy chief sang his praises and hailed a new era in cooperation. So did almost all of Washington’s Western allies. The EU’s Josep Borrell was glad to see the end of the Trump era, with its America First, and sometimes … Read more

Taliban encounter Afghan cities remade in their absence

Ezanullah, one of thousands of young Taliban fighters from the countryside who rode into Afghanistan’s capital over the weekend, had never seen anything like it. The paved streets of Kabul were lined with towering apartment blocks, glass office buildings and shopping malls. The plush furniture inside the Interior Ministry was like “something I thought of … Read more

Afghan women forced from banking jobs as Taliban take control

In early July, as Taliban insurgents were seizing territory from government forces across Afghanistan, fighters from the group walked into the offices of Azizi Bank in the southern city of Kandahar and ordered nine women working there to leave. The gunmen escorted them to their homes and told them not to return to their jobs. … Read more