The Taliban may have won their war but the violence in Afghanistan is not over yet. Hamid Karzai International Airport continues to be the destination for thousands of desperate people hoping to make it through both Taliban and NATO lines to secure one of the limited number of spaces available on a flight out of Kabul. The extremely tense situation around the airport is not the only powder keg in Afghanistan; anti-Taliban forces have already begun to regroup and threaten more bloodshed.
Afghanistan violence may explode again
The violence which most of the world expected to see during the major Taliban offensive was remarkably absent in much of the country.
Most government forces either fled or surrendered as Taliban fighters approached their positions; large parts of the country fell to the insurgents without firing a shot.
The only part of Afghanistan not controlled by the Taliban currently is the Panjshir Valley, a small province surrounded by mountains and held by Tajik people who are not fond of the Taliban.
Warlord Ahmad Shah Massoud defended this portion of the country from both the Soviets and the Taliban until he was assassinated two days before the 9/11 attacks. His son Ahmad Massoud now claims to lead a revived resistance there along with former vice president Amrullah Saleh.
There have been reports of some skirmishes around Panjshir but for the most part the violence has not yet reached the province. Taliban leaders are still busy consolidating their power in the capital and other major cities.
While Massoud and Saleh are asking for international support to launch a counter-offensive, they are now surrounded on all sides by the Taliban and reliant on forces which did not put up a significant resistance anywhere else in the country.
Constant tension at Kabul airport
Meanwhile, the airport in Kabul continues to be the only other haven for those fleeing from the Taliban. Western troops have managed to secure a shaky sense of order within the airport itself.
Outside the chaos which was seen earlier in the week has continued largely unabated. Taliban forces working to establish their own sort of order to the process have repeatedly threatened to explode into violence.
The former insurgents, now rulers of Afghanistan, have been clubbing people and firing frequent shots into the air in their attempts to control the massive crowds of Afghans hoping to escape from their new regime.
Tens of thousands of Westerners and Afghans who are eligible for evacuation are still trapped behind Taliban lines and must attempt to make it through their perimeter around the airport.
Even those who have the proper paperwork, which has been difficult for many to obtain, must make their way to the Kabul airport with no assistance from the United States and struggle through the sea of people hoping to gain entrance.
The situation around the airport is extremely tense; the violence would be far worse if not for the fact that the Taliban is mostly cooperating with NATO forces. No one knows when that uneasy truce might end.