The lightning-quick advance by the Taliban rapidly overran Afghanistan and led to the absolute collapse of the Afghan army and security forces. 

As the Taliban were posing for pictures inside the presidential palace, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was fleeing the country to Uzbekistan even before the United States could withdraw its own diplomats. Crowds were rushing to the tarmac of Kabul airport trying to get out before the Taliban take over.

The United States had pumped between $80 and $89 billion into training and equipping the Afghan military and police. Nonetheless, they collapsed so utterly even before the withdrawal of the United States and its coalition was even complete.

It is a stunning and humiliating defeat for both the Afghan and U.S. governments.