Intelligence reports regarding Taliban threat ‘indicated multiple scenarios were possible,’ says Mark Milley.
ANKARA (AA) – America’s top military commander said Wednesday “there was nothing” that indicated a collapse of the Afghan government and army in 11 days.
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a press conference that all intelligence reports regarding a Taliban threat “indicated multiple scenarios were possible.”
“The timeframe of the rapid collapse was widely estimated and ranged from weeks to months and even years following our departure,” said Milley.
“There was nothing that I saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days.”
His remarks came a day after The New York Times reported that US intelligence officials had been warning of a quick Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.
Milley also said the US has evacuated 5,000 people so far, and the remaining 4,500 US troops will protect the airport so evacuations can continue.
For his part, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said American troops do not have the capability to help people get to the airport because they need to focus on the airport’s security.
So far, there “have been no hostile interactions with the Taliban,” Austin added.
The Taliban on Sunday took control of the capital, Kabul, with President Ashraf Ghani and other key officials fleeing the country.