Feature Image – Road to Nowhere, Afghanistan
[ Editor’s Note: This scenario is coming as no surprise. It could have happened years ago, and all the US delay did is allow more time for $100 billion a year of heroin to flow out of Afghanistan into the hands of those who were never caught and prosecuted despite the whole country under mass US technical surveillance.
And if anyone can remember any US official calling for an investigation into how could such a traffic continue year after year with no interdiction, please clue me in… Jim W. Dean ]
First published … August 11, 2021
The Biden administration is preparing for Afghanistan’s capital to fall far sooner than feared only weeks ago, as a rapid disintegration of security has prompted the revision of an already stark intelligence assessment predicting Kabul could be overrun within six to 12 months of the U.S. military departing, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
From their reporting:
- One official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the issue’s sensitivity, said Tuesday that the U.S. military now assesses a collapse could occur within 90 days. Others said it could happen within a month. Some officials said that although they were not authorized to discuss the assessment, they see the situation in Afghanistan as more dire than it was in June, when intelligence officials assessed a fall could come as soon as six months after the withdrawal of the U.S. military.
- “Everything is moving in the wrong direction,” said one person familiar with the military’s new intelligence assessment. The worsening outlook comes as Taliban fighters, emboldened by the American military departure, have steadily retaken ground from Afghan government forces — including at least seven provincial capitals in a span of days. Nevertheless, President Biden on Tuesday insisted that his decision to withdraw U.S. forces 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 and he is not considering any change of plans in light of the Taliban’s gains.
- A Pentagon official, however, said military planners have been working under the assumption for some time that the evacuation of American diplomats and other nonmilitary personnel from Afghanistan could be necessary on short notice, and that some scenarios envision the fall of Kabul within 30 to 90 days.
- The Biden administration has declined to provide details about where the U.S. military has carried out airstrikes in recent days, but Afghan officials have cited their involvement in bombings in Kapisa and Helmand provinces. The Afghan air force has carried out many more strikes and in more locations, U.S. officials said.
Cindy M. Andrade
The Washington Post | Public Relations