U.S. intelligence warned of Afghanistan military collapse
U.S. intelligence officials had been warning of a quick Taliban takeover in Afghanistan — even as President Joe Biden was publicly downplaying the threat, a new report says.
A number of classified intelligence assessments in recent months questioned whether Afghan security forces would try to resist the Taliban, sources told the New York Times.
The reports also expressed doubts as to whether the Afghan government could remain in control of Kabul.
Some of the assessments were handed down last month as the Taliban’s rapid onslaught was gaining momentum amid the withdrawal of US troops, the sources said.
It came at a time when Biden was continuing to downplay the Taliban threat, saying as recently as July 8 that it was “highly unlikely” that insurgents would overrun the country.
The Taliban seized control of Kabul following the collapse of the Afghan government.
In the aftermath of chaotic and deadly scenes at Kabul airport on Monday, Biden was forced to concede that the Taliban had achieved a much faster takeover of the country than his administration had expected.
The administration is facing mounting questions as to how US forces were unprepared for the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul given the intelligence warnings.
Some of the reports came from the CIA and units within the State Department.
But a senior administration official claims intelligence agencies never actually gave a clear estimate for when the Taliban could take over even as the situation escalated last month.