Who are the Taliban and how did they take control of Afghanistan so swiftly?

Just last week, US intelligence analysts had predicted it would likely take several more weeks before Afghanistan's civilian government in Kabul fell to Taliban fighters. In reality, it only took a few short days. On Sunday, Taliban militants retook Afghanistan's capital, almost two decades after they were driven from Kabul by US troops. Although Afghan security forces were well funded and well equipped, they put up little resistance as Taliban militants seized much of the country following the withdrawal of US troops beginning in early July. On Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, abandoning the presidential palace to

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