Asia reels after Kabul's fall, rethinks Washington's promise of security cover

US soldiers stand guard as Afghans wait to board a US military aircraft to leave their country at the military airport in Kabul on Aug 19, 2021.
US soldiers stand guard as Afghans wait to board a US military aircraft to leave their country at the military airport in Kabul on Aug 19, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Kabul's swift and shocking fall to the Taleban has jolted Asia and forced a rethink about America's security cover even as foreign policy mandarins muse about China's likely influence in Afghanistan and the episode's bearing on the threat of terror.

Scenes of Afghans falling to their deaths from military jets taking off from Kabul's main airport, civilians swarming the streets, women scrambling for cover holding the hands of their children and a near economic shutdown that will force several to seek refuge, have rattled the region and stirred unease.

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