North America 2023: North America Today
Although Joe Biden’s administration made some initial gains against the COVID-19 pandemic, its efforts were soon undermined by new COVID variants and vaccine hesitancy. In August 2021 US prestige took a blow when the Taliban seized control in Afghanistan, bringing an ignoble end to the almost two-decades-old “War on Terror”.
1 May–15 Aug 2021 Taliban Summer Offensive▲
At the beginning of May 2021, as US and allied forces began their planned withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban launched its summer offensive and within three months had extended its control over the countryside from 73 to 223 districts. In the first weeks of August—and with a rapidity that surprised governments around the world—the Taliban secured the major cities, entering Kabul on the 15th just as Afghan president Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Having established their de facto rule, the Taliban reinstated the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan that same day.