Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

"The war is over": Taliban declares victory in Afghanistan

Taliban leaders declared Monday "the war is over," after taking control of Afghanistannearly 20 years on from the militant group fleeing a U.S.-led coalition march into Kabul.

Driving the news: The declaration to Al Jazeera came after the Taliban seized the presidential palace in Kabul and President Ashraf Ghani to fled the country Sunday, and following the U.S. evacuation of the American Embassy. The U.S. was taking over air traffic control at Kabul's airport, where chaotic scenes were reported Monday, as foreigners and Afghan citizens attempted to flee.


  • Mohammad Naeem, the spokesperson for the Taliban’s political office, told Al Jazeera the group was "ready to have a dialogue with all Afghan figures and will guarantee them the necessary protection" and that the type of the Afghan government would soon be made clear.
  • "Today is a great day for the Afghan people and the mujahideen. They have witnessed the fruits of their efforts and their sacrifices for 20 years," Naeem said."Thanks to God, the war is over in the country."
  • Former President Hamid Karzai released a statement Sunday announcing the creation of a "coordination council" for the transfer that consists of him, Abdullah Abdullah, the chair of Afghanistan's High Council for National, and Gulbudin Hekmatyar, leader of Hizb-e-Islami political and paramilitary group.

The big picture: As the U.S. accelerated its military withdrawal earlier this summer, the Taliban gained ground with extraordinary speed, capturing provincial capitals at a rate that shocked the Biden administration and international community.

  • In less than a month, the United States will mark 20 years since the 9/11 attacks, which led the U.S. into its longest war.
  • President Biden said in July the original goals of the U.S. invasion had long since been achieved and, thus, America's exit was "quite frankly overdue."
The closed entrance gate of the American embassy on Aug. 15. Photo: WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images
  • Biden blamed his predecessor, former President Trump, for empowering the Taliban and leaving them "in the strongest position militarily since 2001" but said in a statement that he had to make a choice and that he would not pass on the war to a "fifth" U.S. president.

Of note: The Taliban’s co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who heads the group’s political committee, was expected to be named president.

  • Pakistan released Baradar, who was the deputy of Mullah Omar, the founder of the Taliban, in 2018.
  • Baradar released a message Sunday saying "we have reached a victory that wasn't expected … now it's time of test — now it's about how we serve and secure our people, and ensure their future/good life to best of ability."

What's next: The U.N. Security Council has called an emergency meeting for Monday morning.

  • Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Mark Milley told senators on Sunday that a previous assessment of how soon terrorist groups would likely reconstitute in Afghanistan will speed up because of what's happening there now, according to three sources on the phone call.
  • On the call between top Biden officials and senators from both parties, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Milley whether, in light of recent events, they would revise an assessment to Congress in June of a "medium" risk of terrorist groups reconstituting in Afghanistan within two years.
  • Milley responded "yes" — that he would have to assume that that timeline would get moved up, and that he would be happy to brief senators in a classified setting.

Go deeper:

Biden's stain: U.S. flees Kabul

Behind the scenes of the Biden administration as the U.S. ditches Kabul

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories