KABUL: A well-thumbed copy of “Not a Good Day to Die” — which tells how American forces almost got here undone combating in Afghanistan within the early phases of the conflict — lies on a mattress in a abandoned US barrack room at Kabul airport.
On a desk subsequent to it are two water bottles, a few empty bullet casings and a smoke grenade. A bottle of Tabasco scorching sauce — a US navy staple — sits on one other.
In a separate room, an amazing scent of rotting meals pervades as a Taliban fighter armed with an M16 rifle takes footage on his cell phone.
A month after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, indicators of the 20-year US-led occupation are nonetheless seen at Kabul’s airport — together with clear proof of Washington’s humiliating exit.
There may be even one final message of defiance.
“Fuck you Taliban, simply know you suck,” is scrawled on a wall subsequent to an image of a lady in a tight-fitting costume.
Taliban fighter Abdulrahman barely offers it a second look as he goes about his enterprise.
US medical kits, vests, sneakers, mattresses, bathroom paper, paperwork, and different gadgets are scattered in regards to the navy quarters of the airport, not but disposed of by the brand new rulers of the devastated nation.
The one factor that stops Abdulrahman is a big picket cross pinned to a wall, which he stares at with out saying a phrase.
Taliban fighters took Kabul on August 15 after a lightning offensive launched in Might as the US and NATO started their closing withdrawal.
Within the area of 10 days, they seized a string of provincial capitals, assembly little or no resistance in a staggering rout of US-trained and geared up Afghan authorities forces.
Washington, which had deliberate an orderly evacuation of Afghans who had helped overseas forces through the 20-year occupation, all of a sudden needed to airlift them out in a rush.
“The Taliban takeover was unimaginable… however the US exit was really unthinkable,” stated an Afghan safety guard who had a front-row seat of the withdrawal operation from the civilian facet of the airport.
The panic and confusion because the Taliban entered the capital was plain to see, he stated.
“It was the primary time I noticed US troopers like this.”
The state of what has been left behind bears testimony to the panicked exit.
In a subject clinic on the US camp, subsequent to a small fireplace station, first assist kits are held on sandbags a couple of metres from an out of doors fitness center, a volleyball court docket and a gathering room with pink chairs that resembles an indoor cinema.
A powerful scent of disinfectant rises from the rooms, the place bins of medical tools are nonetheless untouched and folding beds coated in gray sheets are left open.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted on Monday the Biden administration had ready for worst-case situations in Afghanistan, as irate lawmakers accused the White House of presiding over a bungled exit.
The US and its allies finally evacuated 124,000 folks from Afghanistan — one of many largest airlifts in historical past — however even admirers of the operation painting it as “chaotic”.
In a part of the navy facet of the airport this week dozens of broken planes and automobiles had been cordoned off by Taliban barricades product of something from umbrellas to folding metallic chairs.
Deserted Afghan navy uniforms litter the flooring of hangars crammed with bullet-riddled helicopters.
Standing subsequent to a small aircraft with no doorways, a Taliban fighter appears to be like at shattered home windows and says loudly with a smile: “Growth, growth, growth.”

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