There’s broad agreement that it was past time for America to end its forever-seeming war in Afghanistan. And the end, no matter what, wasn’t going to be pretty. But it’s a lot uglier than it had to be, and the country’s rapid slide into Taliban hands is challenging Biden’s empathetic brand. “Once U.S. and NATO troops pulled out entirely, the collapse was inevitable. Still, many are startled, and not without reason … When the Taliban’s assaults first began in late June, U.S. intelligence analysts worried that the Taliban might take over in six to 12 months; now they’re saying it could happen in 90 days. That estimate too may prove overly optimistic.” Fred Kaplan in Slate: The only thing surprising about the Taliban’s rapid advance is that anyone is surprised.

+ And yet, we appear to have been surprised. US sending 3K troops for partial Afghan embassy evacuation.

+ It’s unclear that there will be major political implications related to this story. But there will be ethical ones. Panic and disbelief as thousands flee Taliban onslaught.