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The Pentagon has admitted that the US is relying on the cooperation of the Taliban in its evacuation efforts in Kabul, writes Olivia Gavoyannis. John Kirby, the Pentagon’s spokesman, said at a briefing today: “[The evacuation] does require constant coordination and deconfliction with the Taliban.” He added: “It is absolutely requiring of us to keep these lines of communication with the Taliban open.”

It’s a sign of how little control America has on how events in the country unfold. Joe Biden had hoped his symbolic decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021 – the 20th anniversary of the horrific 9/11 al-Qaeda terrorist attack – would bring a sense of closure to the longest-ever US war.