Another possibility is simply that the Taliban had very little support, even
among their own army. The French journalist held by the Taliban a little bit
back said his jailers were mostly opposed to the Taliban but didn't dare to
oppose them as they figured it would result in a long walk off a short cliff.
Also, once defeat is seen as inevitable, armies typically disintegrate and
the population revolts, even if the actual result is far off (e.g. Germany in
Soldiers don't want to die and civilians don't want to starve when it's not
going to make a difference anymore.
Collapse after the first defeat is very unusual but the Taliban are facing a
phenomenally powerful coalition so
perhaps the evaluation of "defeat is inevitable" was quite rational.
Mazar-e-sharif has a good airport and transportation links to Uzbekistan, so
the fall of that city did mean the US could put in whatever it wanted.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:19 MDT