White House insists Afghan forces 'have what they need' to battle surging Taliban
The White House insisted Wednesday that Afghan forces "have what they need" to battle the Taliban, as the U.S. assesses that the capital of Afghanistan could fall within the next 90 days, Fox News reports.
The Taliban seized three more Afghan provincial capitals and a local army headquarters on Wednesday, attaining control of two-thirds of the nation. The sources said the intelligence regarding Kabul’s security has been dire for some time.
Pentagon officials told Fox News that the intelligence community updated its assessment of Afghanistan after the Taliban conquered nine provincial capitals in recent days.
A CIA assessment months ago said Kabul could fall in six months, however, officials say, at this point that prediction has been cut in half.
But the White House Wednesday maintained that the U.S. is cooperating with Afghan forces, implementing its "train, advise and assist approach."
"We are continuing and we will continue to provide close air support," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.
"Ultimately, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have equipment, numbers and training to fight back," Psaki continued. "They have what they need."
She added: "What they need to determine is if they have the political will to fight back, and if they have the ability to unite as leaders to fight back, and that is really where it stands at this point."