The New York Times reported on Friday that US intelligence agencies have informed President Joe Biden’s administration that the Taliban could sweep through most of Afghanistan within two to three years if US forces withdraw before the war parties reach a power-sharing deal.
The newspaper quoted unnamed US officials as saying that such an invasion may allow Al Qaeda to rebuild its ranks in Afghanistan.
Biden has yet to make a decision on whether to stick to the deadline for withdrawing the 3,500 US troops from Afghanistan on May 1, in accordance with the deal the previous administration led by Donald Trump struck with the Taliban in February 2020.
The New York Times explained that some American officials who support keeping US forces in Afghanistan are using the intelligence report to push for the necessity of remaining soldiers beyond the deadline.
The White House declined to comment.
The newspaper said the classified report was prepared last year for presentation to the Trump administration.
Biden said in his first press conference at the White House on Thursday that it would be difficult to meet the deadline stipulated in the agreement, which also requires the departure of about 7,000 military personnel from the coalition forces.
But the US President also said that he “does not envision” the presence of US forces in Afghanistan next year.
On Friday, the “Taliban” movement threatened to resume fighting with foreign forces in Afghanistan if the deadline for their withdrawal in early May was not met.
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