NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg describes security situation as "deeply challenging" with most foreign troops already out of the country where insurgents are pushing forward with their sweeping assault.
Pakistan's military said it had granted asylum to at least 46 Afghan soldiers who crossed the Durand Line into northwestern Pakistan after their military posts in Afghanistan were overrun by Taliban insurgents.
Enlargement of the Alliance has not been an issue getting much attention in NATO. This should change.
Some 15 foreign missions and a NATO representative in a statement called on the insurgents to halt their offensive for good as a gesture of peace as the group in the past would announce temporary ceasefires before major Muslim festivals.
The Taliban’s rapid territorial gains in recent months has revealed the shortsightedness of the international community when it comes to their Afghanistan and Taliban policies.
The best scenario for the Afghan government appears to reestablish a political stalemate with the Taliban, but even that could favour the armed group in the long run.
Ankara realised that it cannot just rely upon NATO for its survival. The post-July 15 Turkey values self-reliance and alternative international alliances more than ever.
Taliban fighters do not have any organised capacity but have demonstrated they can fire modified rockets from vehicles and create panic, a security official says.
In the face of a re-energised Taliban assault Afghan government forces are abandoning their posts, but the fight is far from over as the Taliban is also rumoured to be taking heavy losses.
Common sense, regional balance and diplomacy stand out when it comes to crisis management between Beijing and Washington, whose asymmetrical differences have eroded.
"Although we (Taliban) have the upper hand on the battlefield, we are very serious about talks and dialogue," a spokesperson of the Afghan insurgent group tells Reuters.
What Afghans need is for the US to be a responsible partner and stop adding fuel to the fire by foretelling the collapse of the Afghan government after announcing troop withdrawal.
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