Washington: A US defense official quoted a US intelligence assessment report on Wednesday that the Taliban may isolate the Afghan capital Kabul within 30 days and may take over it within 90 days.
Taliban militants took control of eight provincial capitals in six days, a speed that surprised US officials.
A senior EU official said on Tuesday that Taliban forces now control 65% of Afghanistan and have occupied or threatened to occupy 11 provincial capitals.
Until last month, the US intelligence assessment warned that the Afghan government might collapse in just six months.
The US official, who asked not to be named, said the new assessment was made after the Taliban made rapid progress in Afghanistan.
“But this is not a foregone conclusion,” the official said, adding that the Afghan security forces can reverse the momentum by putting more resistance against the insurgent groups.
It is unclear whether this is the consensus of the intelligence community or whether different intelligence agencies have different opinions. This is not uncommon.
US President Biden said on Tuesday that he has no regrets about his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan after more than 20 years, saying that the Afghan army has more troops than the Taliban and must fight.
Except for those remaining in Kabul to protect the US embassy and airport, the United States has basically withdrawn all its troops from Afghanistan, and the military mission will end on August 31.