Barack Obama entered the office of the presidency in 2008 promising to erase the national debt, which as a senator he thought was “unpatriotic,” and to erase poverty in America. He has failed to keep either pledge, but he has erased something: the gains the U.S. made in the war on terror. Iraq, in the void left by his premature withdrawal of all American troops, has fallen into the hands of the Islamic State. And today, Taliban militants captured the government headquarters for the northern Afghan city of Kunduz — the first city the U.S. liberated in 2001.
With Kunduz, the Taliban seized its first major city in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led coalition ousted it from power. According to the BBC, when the Islamists entered the city they emptied the its jail, setting hundreds of prisoners free.
Kunduz is strategically important as a transport hub, and has a population of around 300,000. The Taliban has been attempting to capture it for months after establishing control over outlying rural areas.
The Afghan government says it is still fighting the Taliban in and around Kunduz, but The New York Times’ report claims that it is being beaten toward the airport and is absent from the city itself.
The siege raises questions about the U.S.-trained Afghan military’s ability to repel a renewed Taliban insurgency, as well as the ability of the U.S., which still runs air operations over the country to assist in the effort.
This report, by Ivan Plis, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.