The future appears uncertain for Afghanistan following its takeover by the Taliban as US-led forces withdrew from the country after 20 years of occupation. As other nations continue to evacuate their citizens, the Central Asian country has been struck by political and humanitarian crises.
Boris Johnson Contradicts Joe Biden With Claim of Intelligence That Taliban Could Take Kabul
21:07 GMT 21.09.2021 (Updated: 23:03 GMT 21.09.2021)
© REUTERS / POOLBritain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a news conference in London
© REUTERS / POOL
In August, President Joe Biden was stunned by the rapid advance of the Taliban* through Afghanistan as US troops began to depart. In the weeks since, new details have emerged that intelligence officials in the United States and the United Kingdom were warning that the Taliban could advance quickly on Kabul.
In an interview with Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s “Today” morning news program, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted that intelligence officials had warned him that the Taliban was in a position to advance on Kabul swiftly.
“There was a spectrum of predictions from the intelligence people, amongst which was the possibility that Kabul would fall very fast and the Taliban would take over very fast.”
Johnson spent much of the interview defending the Biden administrations’ handling of the withdrawal.
The public stance that the Biden administration was surprised by the Taliban’s swift advance has not held up to scrutiny. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted that he had received a cable from Kabul in July warning of rapid advance by the Taliban.
Details from Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s book “Peril” present a similar story. As early as March, Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned that if the withdrawal did not slow down, the risk of a swift Taliban advance remained an ever-present danger.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organization banned in Russia and many other countries