National News

Chaos as Longest U.S. War Ends

‘A Massive Policy Fail’: CIA Warned
White House of Swift Taliban Takeover

Julian Borger and Hugo Lowell in Washington, Dan Sabbagh defence and
security editor,

Wed 18 Aug 2021. Both the Trump and Biden administrations were warned by US intelligence that the Afghan army’s resistance to the Taliban could collapse “within days” after an over-hasty withdrawal, according to a former CIA counter-terrorism chief.

Press accounts of White House decision-making in recent days have suggested that Joe Biden was led to believe that it might take 18 months for Kabul and Ashraf Ghani’s government to fall. Last week, unnamed officials were widely quoted as saying it could be 30 to 90 days.

“This is a war that I fought in — and I know the country. I know the people, and I know those who fought alongside me,” Austin said. “As I said, we have a moral obligation to help those who helped us.” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austen at a news conference, August 18, 2021.

Speaking to the nation on Monday, Biden said: “The truth is: This did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated.”

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