The Wall Street Journal reports “An internal State Department memo last month warned top agency officials of the potential collapse of Kabul soon after the U.S.’s Aug. 31 troop withdrawal deadline in Afghanistan, according to a U.S. official and a person familiar with the document.”
The memo was dated July 13th, a mere month after Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a Trump-era program designed at providing swift and safe evacuations for Americans out of crisis zones, such as the upcoming Afghanistan troop withdrawal.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
The classified cable represents the clearest evidence yet that the administration had been warned by its own officials on the ground that the Taliban’s advance was imminent and Afghanistan’s military may be unable to stop it.
The cable, sent via the State Department’s confidential dissent channel, warned of rapid territorial gains by the Taliban and the subsequent collapse of Afghan security forces, and offered recommendations on ways to mitigate the crisis and speed up an evacuation, the two people said.
The cable, dated July 13, also called for the State Department to use tougher language in describing the atrocities being committed by the Taliban, one of the people said.
As of last weekend, some 18,000 Afghans who have applied for the U.S.’s Special Immigrant Visa program, as well as their families, remained on the ground in Afghanistan, with about half of them outside Kabul in areas already under Taliban control, and efforts to get them to the Kabul airport have grown more difficult by the day.