Of Afghanistan’s 407 districts 233 are under Taliban control. Sixty-five are under the control of the Afghan government in Kabul and 109 are being contested.

Taliban gains are mostly in the Western provinces. The Kabul government controls the center of the country and is fighting to contest the districts on the border with Pakistan and near Kabul. The border with Pakistan is where the Taliban draw their supplies from. They also use Pakistan as a safe haven.

Two Marine battalions and one Army battalion are being sent to Kabul. An infantry brigade combat team of the Immediate Response Force of the 82nd Airborne Division is en route to Kuwait to support an evacuation of U.S. personnel from the embassy in Kabul. This brigade-sized unit is capable of rapid airlift by the Air Force. It will likely be used to secure the airport and the two-mile road that runs a straight line from Karzai International Airport to the embassy should evacuation be required.

Another 1,000 troops are being sent to Qatar and Afghanistan to process Special Immigrant Visas or “SIVs” for Afghans that have been useful to U.S. efforts in the region.

The Pentagon says this represents some 8,000 troops. The units being deployed have not yet been disclosed and their exact composition is difficult to determine because both Army and Marine battalion sizes can vary depending on additional companies that can be attached to them like artillery, and tank and armored fighting vehicle platoons.

The embassy is being told to burn sensitive documents. Although this is fairly routine in such situations, it’s not business as usual either.

The U.S. is asking the Taliban not to attack our embassy in Kabul.

The Biden administration says the Taliban should think about how they want to be seen by the rest of the world, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the Taliban already have a decades-old reputation for being pretty awful.