ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
America’s 20-year effort to remake Afghanistan in its own image has given way to a humanitarian and political crisis.   © EPA/Jiji
The Big Story

Taliban triumph: anatomy of a disaster in Afghanistan

Washington's humiliation will be felt throughout Asia

ANDREW NORTH, Contributing writer | South Asia

Instead of a ladder to the last helicopter out of Saigon, a new image of desperation and collapse seared itself into the world's mind this week. A crowd of Afghans swarming a whale-like U.S. Air Force transport, grasping at its oblivious sides as it took off from Kabul airport.

A few managed to get a hold on the plane's landing gear bays as it climbed, only to plunge to their deaths onto the capital below -- bookending America's war on terror in a sickening symmetry of horror. Nearly 20 years ago, the world watched people jump from the burning Twin Towers on 9/11. Now no one can forget the images of Afghans falling from the sky.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more