August 16, 2021

Kabul's collapse followed string of intel failures, defense officials say

Featuring Lisa Curtis

Source: POLITICO

Journalist Lara Seligman

Military planners sounding the alarm about Afghanistan’s imminent collapse failed to predict the speed with which the Taliban would overrun the country, leaving the Biden administration scrambling to evacuate thousands of American citizens, embassy staffers and vulnerable Afghans from Kabul’s international airport.

Though officials warned repeatedly over the past few weeks that the Afghan government could fall far sooner than previous estimates — weeks or months after the last American troops depart the country — they overestimated the capability and will of the Afghan security forces to fight back as the Taliban seized city after city in recent days, defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive planning, told POLITICO.

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Authors

  • Lisa Curtis

    Senior Fellow and Director, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Lisa Curtis is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She is a foreign policy and national securit...