- Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
Afghanistan
The Taliban (under UN sanctions for terrorist activities) stormed to power in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, as US-led forces withdrew from the country after 20 years of occupation.

Ex-Afghan President Ghani Says He Was Made 'Scapegoat' for Fleeing, Blames Trump - Report

© AP Photo / Rahmat GulPassengers walk to the departures terminal of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, past a mural of President Ashraf Ghani, as the Taliban offensive encircled the capital.
Passengers walk to the departures terminal of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, past a mural of President Ashraf Ghani, as the Taliban offensive encircled the capital.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.12.2021
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The Taliban* forces captured the country in just a few weeks after a rather chaotic withdrawal of US troops present there began in the summer. The US troops have been guaranteeing by their presence the survival of the established democratic regime, of which Ghani was a part, for almost 20 years.
When security officials recommended him to leave Kabul as Taliban forces drew in on the city this past August, the former president of Afghanistan claimed he had no idea he would be escorted out of the war-torn country, seemingly for good.
In an interview with the BBC, Ashraf Ghani said that when he awoke on August 15, he had "no inkling" that it would be his last day in Afghanistan. Ghani claimed that Taliban forces had promised not to enter Kabul as the day began, but "two hours later, this was not the case."
"Two different factions of the Taliban were closing in from two different directions," Ghani explained to Gen. Sir Nick Carter, the UK's former Chief of the Defence Staff, who was interviewing him. "And the possibility of a massive conflict between them that would destroy the city of five million and bring havoc to the people was enormous."
The former president, who has been heavily chastised and accused of abandoning the country and is currently residing in the United Arab Emirates, consented to let a few close friends and family members leave Kabul, including his wife, who he emphasized did so reluctantly.
Ghani claimed he waited for a car to take him to the ministry of defense after his national security advisor left the nation, as well.
The picture of the chaos of that Sunday is added by the fact that the driver never showed up, according to Ghani. Instead, the national security advisor and the "terrified" chief of presidential security returned and told Ghani that if he took a stance, they would "all be killed."
"He did not give me more than two minutes," Ghani explained the rush. "My instructions had been to prepare for departure for [the city of] Khost. He told me that Khost had fallen and so had Jalalabad."
Ghani admitted that at that time he "did not know where we will go," and that only onboard the plane he realized that he was leaving for good.
"Only when we took off, it became clear that we were leaving [Afghanistan]. So this really was sudden," he said.
Furthermore, in the interview, they raised the issue that Ghani allegedly fled the country with suitcases and supposedly even a helicopter laden with money. Again, he categorically rejected such accusations and even welcomed an international probe that he said would clean his name.
"I want to categorically state, I did not take any money out of the country," he said, adding: "My style of life is known to everyone. What would I do with money?"
Interestingly, Ghani admitted to making mistakes, such as "assuming that the patience of the international community would last."
He did, however, point to an agreement reached between the Taliban and the United States under then-President Donald Trump, which in some way opened the way for the events of August 15.
"Instead of a peace process, we got a withdrawal process," Ghani said.
Ghani stressed that the manner the agreement was done "erased us."
Ghani stressed that the manner the agreement was done "erased us."
The US promised to reduce its forces and those of its partners as part of the 2020 accord with the Taliban, as well as provide for a prisoner transfer, in exchange for the movement agreeing to negotiations with the Afghan government.
The talks failed, as we all witnessed this year. By the summer, the Taliban had swept over Afghanistan, capturing city after city, despite President Joe Biden vowing to withdraw the last troops by September 11.
Афганский уличный парикмахер в Кабуле, 2007 год - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.12.2021
Economy
Observers: After 20-Year War US Simply Abandoned Afghanistan Without Political & Economic Solution
Given the turn of events that threatened the entire course of the operation, the American troops had to leave the country in a hurry before August 31, effectively leaving behind tons of expensive equipment and even their own citizens, not to mention those Afghans who collaborated with the US during the occupation and were afraid for their lives under the new Islamist government.
Ghani stated that what occurred, in the end, was "a violent coup, not a political agreement, or a political process where the people have been involved."
Ghani admitted he is able to take responsibility for some of the factors that contributed to Kabul's fall, such as relying on "our international partnership."
"My life work has been destroyed. My values had been trampled on. And I have been made a scapegoat," he complained.
Ghani's escape was widely panned in Afghanistan and across the world, including by his vice-president, Amrullah Saleh, who described it as "disgraceful."
*The Taliban is listed as a terrorist organization by the United Nations in UNSCR 1267.
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