The Afghan government in Kabul could collapse within the next three months, US intelligence officials said in a newly revised assessment, as the Taliban continued to make exponential gains in the war-torn country
The Afghan government in Kabul could collapse within the next three months, US intelligence officials said in a newly revised assessment, as the Taliban continued to make exponential gains in the war-torn country.
According to a report by The Washington Post, US officials believe the Kabul government is likely to collapse within the next 90 days. Another official, quoted by the report, who was aware of the internal assessment predicted a more pessimistic outlook. Given the current momentum, he said, the government may also collapse within a month after the US completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“Everything is moving in the wrong direction,” the official, aware of the assessment, was quoted as saying by The Washington Post.
The warning came at a time when the Taliban swiftly took control of at least eight provincial capitals, wiping out the government forces almost entirely from the country’s north.
It is interesting to note that a few weeks ago, the US intelligence community had reportedly predicted that the Kabul government could last as long as six months after the withdrawal of the foreign forces. However, US President Joe Biden had ruled out any possibility, and expressed confidence over “better trained and equipped” Afghan forces.
Nevertheless, on Tuesday, Biden insisted that his decision to withdraw is not up for debate, saying that despite the Afghans’ weak performance militarily, he did not “regret” his decision to end the 20-year campaign. He further added he was not considering any change of plans in light of the Taliban’s gains.
“We spent over a trillion dollars over 20 years. We trained and equipped, with modern equipment, over 300,000 Afghan forces. And Afghan leaders have to come together,” Biden said to journalists in The White House on Tuesday.
Amid the deteriorating security situation, US Officials are reportedly actively exploring if they should continue to keep the embassy open in Kabul, and if yes, for how long. For now, the State Department has said its posture is unchanged.
“We are evaluating the threat environment on a daily basis,” Ned Prince, the spokesperson for the US State Department, said on Tuesday. “Obviously it is a challenging security environment,” he added.