FactualThe Islamist armed group controlled only a few districts in April. This map traces his takeover of Afghanistan in the 407 districts resulting from the division of the American army.
When the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies began to withdraw from Afghanistan, on 1er May 2021, the situation seemed relatively stable between parts of the country held by the government and others controlled by the Taliban.
But it changed rapidly in early summer: entire provinces were taken by Taliban troops in July and early August. The big cities followed until August 15, when the capital, Kabul, fell to the Taliban.
In ten days, the Afghan army, trained for twenty years by the international coalition, collapsed. The reasons are various: difficulty of supplying in a mountainous country, corruption or even poor supply of arms and ammunition. The military withdrawal that began two months ago quickly deprived the Afghan forces of the American air umbrella, without the Afghan air force being able to take over.
The map below traces the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in the 407 districts resulting from the division of the American forces (which correspond more or less to the administrative division of the 399 Afghan districts in 2012). The data comes from the Long War Journal, a site developed by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a US non-governmental organization for research and information on terrorism.
Within a matter of weeks, the Taliban – which controlled only a few districts representing 14.4% of the Afghan population in early April – conquered almost all of the territory, covering 99.4% of the population, with the exception of the Panshir valley. This region north of Kabul was the only one, Wednesday August 18, to escape their control. It is run by a local group led by Ahmad Massoud, son of Commander Ahmed Chah Massoud.