US officials expect Kabul could fall in 3 months

TEHRAN, Aug. 11 (MNA) – A US official has predicted that the Afghan capital of Kabul would fall to the Taliban within 90 days while others said that could happen within a month.

The American daily "Washington Post" has reported that 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.

One official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the issue’s sensitivity, said Tuesday that the US 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 direr than it was in June when intelligence officials assessed a fall could come as soon as six months after the withdrawal of the US military.

The Taliban are advancing very fast in Afghanistan. It was reported earlier on Wednesday that the Taliban have captured 9 provincial capitals since Friday.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday insisted that his decision to withdraw US 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.

“Look,” Biden told reporters at the White House, “we spent over a trillion dollars over 20 years. We trained and equipped, with modern equipment, over 300,000 Afghan forces.

As security in Afghanistan continues to erode, conversations within the US government have turned to the US Embassy in Kabul and whether Washington should keep it open - and for how long. For now, the State Department has said its posture is unchanged.

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 WP has cited the White House press secretary Jen Psaki as saying that the onus is now on Afghan leaders.

Biden made his decision to pull out US forces with knowledge of the potential consequences, she added.

KI/PR

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