The Kunduz fiasco


THE past 10 days have been excruciating for the Afghan forces, whose grip on security remains far from firm. Their ability to rout the Afghan Taliban, without air support from Nato troops, is open to question. A run of military reverses in the embattled north showed up the chinks in Kabul’s security strategy and the handicaps of its law-enforcement agencies.

In Kunduz city, the Taliban scored their most emphatic victory in a decade and a half. On Monday, they stormed the city at the break of dawn and ruled it by afternoon, as the army, police and intelligence operatives beat a hasty retreat. Looking at the Taliban’s steady inroads into the north over the past 13 months, the fall of Kunduz — coming with a nagging sense of déjà-vu — is a rude shock to Kabul.