August in Kabul
As night fell on 15 August 2021, the Taliban entered Kabul,
capital of Afghanistan. After a 20-year conflict with the United States,
its Western allies and a proxy Afghan government, the Islamic militant
group once aligned with al Qaeda was about to bury yet another foreign
foe in the graveyard of empires. And for the US, the superpower, this
was yet another foreign disaster. As cities and towns fell to the Taliban
in rapid succession, Western troops and embassy staff scrambled to flee
a country of which its government had lost control. To the world, Kabul
in August looked like Saigon in 1975.
August in Kabul is the story of how America's longest mission came to
an abrupt and humiliating end, told through the eyes of Afghans whose
lives have been turned upside down- a young woman who harbours
dreams of a university education; a presidential staffer who works
desperately to hold things together as the government collapses around
him; a prisoner in the notorious Bagram Prison who suddenly finds
himself free when prison guards abandon their post.
Andrew Quilty was one of a handful of Western journalists who
stayed in Kabul as the city fell. This is his first-hand account of those
dramatic final days.
Publication Date: 02-Aug-2022
Publisher: Melbourne University Publishing