Amidst the Taliban controlling the substantial number of the country's regions and rural towns and Afghan security forces virtually defeated, the following discussions may enable to improve the existing scenario:
Afghanistan is on the verge of failure, and the country's security forces have all but disintegrated as a result of a Taliban invasion that they held powerless to counter.
To append to its problems, the US has announced preparations to remove its nationals in Kabul, a symbolic and unexpected conclusion to the US presence after nearly two decades of combat.
The Taliban control the great majority of the country's towns and rural provinces, and Afghan security forces have been largely destroyed.
Here are some questions and answers to assist understand the current situation:
The Taliban have never been hesitant to declare exactly what they want: the total restoration of their Islamic emirate, which reigned from 1996 to 2001.
A lot of thought and discussion went into how they would achieve their goal: through negotiations, sheer force, or a combination of the two.
In the end, their aggressive approach was adequate: defeat state forces with multi-pronged blows on places around the nation.
To do so, they had to first get American troops on the ground, which they accomplished by striking a deal with a war-weary Washington and promising not to attack US targets in exchange for their departure.
Part of the agreement included Washington putting pressure on the Afghan administration to release thousands of Taliban detainees, the majority of whom immediately re-enlisted in the fight.
With such spectacular victories in the previous eight days, the Taliban may now be confident enough to give the government the option of unconditional surrender.
If Kabul implodes, the Taliban will use force to secure control of the capital.
There will assuredly be books produced and seminars given on this subject for years, if not decades: what precisely went wrong with the Afghan security forces?
Corruption, a lack of desire to fight, and the void left by the US withdrawal are all potential factors in the Afghan military's demise.
For years, the US administration published studies revealing massive levels of corruption among Afghanistan's security services. Commanders frequently misappropriated funds intended for their troops, sold weapons on the black market, and lied about the number of soldiers in their ranks.
Afghan troops were likewise completely reliant on US airpower, from resupply to strikes and upkeep. To make matters worse, the security forces have never had much in the way of competent leadership.
They were either micromanaged by civilians in the presidential palace with no military expertise, or disregarded by elderly generals who seemed more concerned with small political squabbles than the greater battle at hand.
The US-trained commando troops were the hope, but they were unable to take the whole war.
Across the board, the Taliban hold the upper hand.
The government currently controls only three major cities and lacks the logistical manpower to mount an effective defence of the capital. The Taliban are swiftly approaching Kabul, with reports indicating that their forces are making headway on the capital's northern and southern edges.
The US and the international community are most likely increasing pressure on the Taliban and the Afghan government to achieve an agreement.
However, the Taliban ultimately have all of the cards.