Classified assessments by US intelligence agencies over the summer warned of the rapid collapse of Afghanistan’s military despite public assurances from President Joe Biden’s administration that it would have been unlikely to happen as fast at it did, according to a New York Times report.
One specific report dated in July spelled out the growing risks to the Afghan capital Kabul, adding that Afghanistan’s government was unprepared for an assault on the city by the Taliban, a person familiar with the intelligence told The New York Times.
According to the report, a senior administration official who spoke to The New York Times on the condition of anonymity confirmed that “US intelligence agencies never offered a clear prediction of an imminent Taliban takeover.”
The US said Monday that it would only recognize a Taliban government in Afghanistan if it respects the rights of women and shuns extremist movements such as al-Qaeda.
“Ultimately when it comes to our posture towards any future government in Afghanistan, it will depend upon the actions of that government. It will depend upon the actions of the Taliban,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters when asked about recognition.