US State Department had knowledge about the swift pace of Taliban advance: Report

Aug 20, 2021: The US State Department had been informed by diplomats about the pace of the Taliban’s occupation of Afghanistan.

Baaghi TV: About a dozen diplomats wrote a memo to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on July 13, a month before the Taliban took control of Kabul, according to the Wall Street Journal. The memo suggested that the US State Department should take a strong stand against the Taliban. The diplomats said in a memo that the Taliban were rapidly occupying Afghan territory.

The American magazine says that the diplomats in the memo also suggested the immediate withdrawal of Americans from Afghanistan. On July 8, Biden said the Taliban had no chance of taking control of Afghanistan. The US president also discounted out the possibility of chaos in Afghanistan.

The warnings were clear: the Afghan government could fall after the withdrawal of US troops. But intelligence agencies, and ultimately President Joe Biden, miscalculated how quickly the Taliban would advance, wasting weeks that could have been used for evacuations and creating a foreign policy crisis.

Without realizing that the country could fall apart so quickly, the US administration listened to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani when he met Biden face-to-face in June. Biden says Ghani pressured him to stop any immediate US evacuation of citizens, arguing that it would invite the Taliban to move faster which they ultimately did anyway.

U.S. officials estimate that as many as 10,000 Americans remain in Afghanistan, and tens of thousands of Afghans who fought alongside or aided the U.S. in the nearly two-decade occupation are struggling to get out.

A defense estimate that Kabul could be surrounded within 30 days, an estimate that was viewed as pessimistic when it was reported last week, turned out instead to be far too optimistic. In just over a week, the Taliban overran the country and entered Kabul without a fight.

While President Ghani and his top aides fled the country.

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