#Sharana, the capital of Paktika province in the east, near the capital Kabul, has fallen to the #Taliban, the first provincial capital to fall today and the 19th overall (out of 34). #Afghanistan

Footage shows prisoners released by the jihadists:
#Afghanistan President @AshrafGhani will give a speech soon, which it seems will be mostly reaffirming he's staying.

In fairness to Ghani: whatever his failings, no sense in resigning now. A "unity government" is not on offer: either ISI/Taliban is beaten back or takes over.
Seems there will be a fight for Gardez. The steady flow of reports/rumours yesterday was of imminent surrender of the city by its official government leadership. It's arguable on whose authority these defensive measures have now been taken.
#Taliban closing on the capital: heavy fighting imminent in Paktika, just south of Kabul, and now they're pressing from just north in Kunar
#Asadabad, capital of Kunar province, has fallen to the #Taliban.

This is the second provincial capital the jihadists have taken today and the 20th overall (out of 34). #Afghanistan
This sounds like a euphemism for giving it up
Seems the Khost Protection Force (KPF), a CIA-trained unit, which moved to protect #Gardez, creating the impression of an imminent battle, has, in fact, surrendered to the #Taliban. Very close to provincial capital #3 of the day (#21 overall) falling now.
#Afghanistan: Third provincial capital of the day and 22nd in total has fallen to the #Taliban: Maymana, the capital of Faryab, is now under jihadist rule.
Mazar being threatened, the major holdout in the north. #Afghanistan
Very, very close to the end in Mazar-i-Sharif
Mazar-i-Sharif, the northern stronghold of the government, has fallen to the Taliban. This is the capital of Balkh province. It is the 4th provincial capital to fall today, and the 22nd overall (out of 34).

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More from @KyleWOrton

15 Aug
#Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, 90 miles from Kabul, is the first provincial capital to fall to the #Taliban todau [15 AUG], and the 23rd overall.
Read 56 tweets
13 Aug
The #Taliban claimed to have taken Lashkar Gar, Helmand's capital, earlier this morning, and that's either true or soon will be; now this. Two provincial capitals down already today, 15 overall. #Afghanistan
#Taliban are in Pul-i-Alam, the capital of Logar province; it is either overrun or very nearly. Third provincial capital to fall today, 16th in total.
It was expected that Tarinkot, the capital of the Uruzgan province, would fall today and the governor now says he was asked by tribal leaders not to fight the Taliban so as not to destroy the city. If and when that will be the 4th today and 17th overall.
Read 20 tweets
13 Aug
In March 1975, on the eve of the Sovietization of South Vietnam, President Ford was asked why he could manage détente with the Soviet Union and Red China, but not with the then-non-Communist governments of South Vietnam and Cambodia.

The answer was flat-out incoherent. Image
Kissinger, in September 1975, was given another chance to explain why the Communist superpowers got détente from the #US, even as they destroyed American allies like South Vietnam, and he resorted to defending the #Soviets by saying they hadn't instigated the fall of Saigon.
Read 4 tweets
12 Aug
The first treaty #Hitler signed, on 5 May 1933, was a renewal of the Treaty of Berlin (1926) and the German-Soviet Agreement (1929), promising non-aggression and trade relations with the #Soviets.

"It is a cause for special gratification", the #Nazi government announced. ImageImage
The same day, 5 May 1933, the #British Parliament ratified a trade accord with the #Nazi government nytimes.com/1933/05/05/arc…
After the May 1933 treaties with the #Soviets and #Britain, there was the 15 July #Four_Power_Pact with Britain, France, and Italy.

So the Reichskonkordat on 20 July was at least the fourth international treaty, and made under considerable pressure on the Roman Church.
Read 5 tweets
12 Aug
Oh, good Lord. Either send warplanes to blitz the Taliban front lines and halt the US troop withdrawal, or be quiet. This is devastating and humiliating enough.
There should be a bit of a reckoning over the "Doha peace process" because it was fictional and the Biden people knew that at least since they were in power. It was an unconditional withdrawal mechanism Trump created; they were quite free to repudiate it and did not.
The other problem is the analytical "community", which provided cover for officials by treating the "peace process" with the Taliban as if it was a real thing, and in some cases recycling official talking points, despite the blatant facts before everyone's eyes.
Read 5 tweets
12 Aug
#Taliban have captured 10 provincial capitals:

1. Zaranj (Nimruz province), 6 Aug
2. Sheberghan (Jawzjan), 7 Aug
3-5. Sar-i-Pul, Kunduz, and Taluqan (Takhar), 8 Aug
6. Aybak (Samangan), 9 Aug
7-9. Pul-i-Khumri (Baghlan), Farah, Faizabad (Badakhshan), 10 Aug
10. Ghazni, 12 Aug
Fairly visible on this map [nyti.ms/3m0S5Ef] the main holdouts are the Hazarajat, some areas surrounding Kabul, and parts of Balkh province around Mazar-i-Sharif.

Herat in the west, and Kandahar and Lashkar Gah (Helmand) in the south, do not seem likely to hold for long. Image
One provincial capital has fallen in #Afghanistan already today; unwise to bet against a second going down and maybe three. By the end of the week and surely by the end of next, half or more of the 34 provincial capitals will be gone, de facto the whole north, west, and south.
Read 9 tweets

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