Aug. 20 2021 An internal U.S. State Department memo in July warned senior agency officials that Kabul “could collapse” shortly after the U.S. August 31 withdrawal deadline, a U.S. official and a person familiar with the matter said.
The classified cable, dated July 13, was sent by about 22 U.S. diplomats in Afghanistan, the report said. The internal cable is the clearest evidence yet that the U.S. government has received warnings from the ground that a Taliban offensive is imminent and that Afghan forces may not be able to stop it.
The cable was sent through the State Department’s secret dissent channel, warning that the Taliban could quickly seize Afghan territory and then collapse Afghan security forces, the two people said, and offered advice on how to ease the crisis and speed up evacuations.
Reuters reported that U.S. officials declined to confirm the specifics of the cable or disclose its contents.
“I think this cable reflects what we’ve been saying all along, that no one fully predicted that the Afghan government and military would collapse in a few days,” the White House deputy national security adviser said. ”