In Kabul, Echoes of Saigon

Ahmed Rashid at the NYRB:

An equally pressing issue, which the US forces, especially, have yet to address, concerns the source, or sources, of all the Taliban’s new equipment. Providing logistics, massing fighters, and coordinating serial attacks around the country are the task of a well-drilled, well-supplied command structure. That is what Washington and Kabul are dealing with: a Taliban force, once considered a rag-tag army of militants, that now has the savvy of generals and the resources of a serious army.

For the US, this development is surely resonant of Vietnam. It was the 1968 Tet offensive launched by the South Vietnamese guerrillas, leading to talks in Paris with a North Vietnamese delegation, that paved the way for US withdrawal, which, once completed, left the South Vietnamese regime to collapse in 1975 and the communists to stroll into Saigon. Afghanistan may just have seen its Tet offensive. A resumption of talks with the US will eventually follow, but to what end this time?

more here.