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Intelligence Failure

Home > Taliban Victory > Intelligence Failure

"There was nothing that I or anyone else saw
that indicated a collapse in 11 days."

General Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
at August 18, 2021 Department of Defense press conference.

"The Taliban is not the south - the North Vietnamese army. They're
not - they're not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There's
going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted
off the roof of a embassy in the - of the United States from
Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable"

President Biden during a question and answer session
following a speech to the nation on July 8, 2021.

The rapid Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 had many members of government and outside observers commenting that the U.S. suffered a massive intelligence failure. There are those that say the intelligence was there and was accurate and the Biden administration didn't act on it. Others say the intel community missed the signs that the Taliban could drive to victory in such a short period.

News Articles and Reports about
Afghanistan Intelligence Failure

September 4, 2021. "Afghanistan: Everyone got it wrong on Taliban Takeover - armed forces chief", BBC News. Gen Sir Nick Carter says the Taliban managed to "buy off" opponents as it took over. Nobody saw the Taliban takeover happening so quickly.

September 2, 2021. "Was Afghanistan a Failure of Intelligence?", Counterbalance Podcast, Ezra Cohen, Michael Doran, and Marshal Kosloff, one hour.

August 20, 2021. "The intelligence community's silence is deafening", by Deb Pfaff and Bo Miller, The Hill.

August 18, 2021. "CIA's Former Counterterrorism Chief for the Region: Afghanistan, Not An Intelligence Failure - Something Much Worse", by Douglas London, Just Security.

August 18, 2021. "Taliban Takeoveer Raises Questions About Potential Intelligence Failure", Lobo Institute.

August 17, 2021. "Afghanistan and the history of intelligence failures - analysis", by Yonah Jeremy Bob, The Jerusalem Post. From the fall of Afghanistan, to at least two wars Israel unintentionally fought with Hamas, to 9/11, to Pearl Harbor and other events, certain patterns emerge regarding mega-intelligence failures.

August 17, 2021. "Grim intelligence assessments did not match Biden's assurances on Afghanistan: report", by Ellen Mitchell,The Hill.

August 16, 2021. "Intelligence Failure of the Highest Order - How Afghanistan fell to the Taliban so quickly", CNBC.

August 16, 2021. "Kabul's collapse followed string of intel failures, defense officials say", by Laura Seligman, Politico. Officials overestimated the capability and will of the Afghan security forces to fight back as the Taliban seized city after city in recent days.

August 15, 2021. "Intelligence Reports From Afghanistan Missed One Key Element: Speed", The Wall Street Journal. U.S. officials are conflicted over whether intelligence failures may have contributed to the swift Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

August 15, 2021. "Afghanistan's collapse: Did US intelligence get it wrong?", by James Gordon Meek, ABC News. American intelligence sources say they correctly predicted the fall of Kabul.

August 15, 2021. "Don't ignore the CIA's intelligence failure on Afghanistan", by Michael Rubin,



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