For all the billions of dollars we waste on “intelligence” agencies why is it none of these asswipes had any idea of the hierarchical structure of the Taliban and what they were planning?

The Taliban’s rapid conquest of Afghanistan following President Joe Biden’s order to withdraw US forces is a strategic disaster and, no matter how hard Biden seeks to cast blame elsewhere, will shape his legacy.

For the United States, however, it represents not only a military failure but also an intelligence one. Not only did the Central Intelligence Agency and other US intelligence agencies wildly underestimate the speed of the Taliban advance, but they also appear to have been blind to the extent of political dealings the Taliban had made as the withdrawal loomed and the military prepositioning the Taliban achieved to begin a near-simultaneous assault on provincial capitals. They appear to have missed the fact that Taliban shadow governors were already in place, alongside their staff, to take over provincial functions.

The question of what went wrong with US intelligence is not simply Monday morning quarterbacking. Both the Trump administration and then Biden’s team prefaced America’s withdrawal on the notion that US intelligence capabilities would enable the United States to maintain an over-the-horizon strike capability against both insurgents and terrorists. The CIA’s failure, however, shows that as US forces withdrew, they were essentially blind and that the White House built America’s post-withdrawal strategy on a rotten foundation.

Perhaps the CIA misunderstood Afghan history and culture. After all, momentum matters in Afghanistan. Defections and political deals rather than military prowess guided the Taliban’s march through the country between 1994 and 1998. Perhaps the intelligence community’s sources within the Taliban were sincere two months ago but, as they assessed which way the wind was blowing, they decided to switch sides and feed nonsense to their handlers. Or, perhaps, the chief-of-station in Pakistan became so charmed by his hosts and the snake oil that Pakistan sells that he did not realize Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency was purposely leading him astray.

Wishful thinking may also be at play. There is a long history within the US intelligence community of twisting intelligence in support of diplomatic initiatives. Indeed, the desire for diplomatic solutions rather than a desire for war explains the vast majority of intelligence failures.

The Pakistan-backed, multi-pronged Taliban assault is not the only offensive to catch the Central Intelligence Agency off-guard. Just short of a year ago, Azerbaijan—a country that, like Pakistan, hosts a significant US intelligence community presence—blindsided the United States when it launched a surprise attack on Nagorno-Karabakh. The CIA never explained that intelligence failure, perhaps saved by Congressional distraction with their own elections and the fact that few American journalists witnessed the human tragedy the Azerbaijani assault caused.

To misread intentions and capabilities so completely raises questions about whether the intelligence community has improved its products and capabilities since its 9/11 failures, or whether it has instead become just another jobs program focused more on playing Washington politics than conducting its core mission well.

The decision to withdraw American forces may not have been Director of Central Intelligence William Burns’ but the intelligence failures surrounding it are. As Americans grapple with a national security, diplomatic, and defense disaster that will have generational implications, it is essential that Burns testify to explain why his multi-billion dollar agency managed to read Taliban capabilities and actions so wrong.

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  1. bogsidebunny says:

    I’ll restrict my comments to:

    OMFG, Covid will kill me unless I follow mask orders fron Herr Fauci, but the CIA’s looking out for my best interest so I’m covered.

    We’re DOOMED!

  2. Bob says:

    According to Marco Rubio, the White House was informed by the Intel community what would happen but their warnings were ignored.

    Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican and ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, tweeted Monday: “This administration was specifically told Afghan forces would surrender faster than our ability to exit. They decided to ignore these warnings & smugly tell everyone how smart & brilliant they are.”


  3. bogsidebunny says:

    Bob, created intentionally or by sheer stupidity the evidence the Liberal fantasy world exists and it’s on the way to destroy America.

  4. grayjohn says:

    They knew all about it, and probably helped the Taliban set it up and execute it.

  5. Drew45.8 says:

    Let’s see if I can figure things out within 10 seconds:
    a) sand niggers are two faced lying bastards, always have been. you can’t trust them even if they’re dead.
    b) we’re invaders in their country no matter how nice we treat them or how much we spend, therefore we’re the enemy.
    c) they’re all 7th century pisslams, and we’re not, therefore we’re the enemy
    d) not one of those blue suited idiots in DC has ever read The Haj, written decades ago, which explains this clearly.
    e) Biden is a total fuck-up, wrong on every single foreign policy move in over 40 years, and was quoted 22 years ago that “cut and run and fuck ’em all” was his preferred strategy for Afghanistan. https://twitter.com/ian_mckelvey/status/1427232830103371778
    e.2) “run away now and then stab allies in back” is not an organized withdrawal plan, but it is par for the course for DC since 1972. Ask the south Vietnamese. Ask the Kurds betrayed by Bush. Ask the Iraqis about when Obama was in charge pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. Ask the Christians in Bosnia. Ask the Iraqis about Bush, too stupid to install Government Inna Box in Iraq, leading to that whole War 2 Round 2 thing. Ask Ghaddafi, who stayed out of the jihad vs war on terror thing.

    So no, this was no accident. It was not unexpected. It was allowed to happen to weaken America even further.

  6. dekare says:

    Maybe they were spending all of their time tapping conservative phone calls, placing plants in conservative groups, targeting anti-liberals for mask violations and going after anyone who questioned the election results.

  7. RedneckGeezer says:

    I’m with Drew. These are some dumb fucks for sure, but dumb as they are, they planned all this and just don’t give a shit. As long as they can control all of us with vax passports and masks, life and death for non-Taliban Afghans is no big deal. They’ll probably “circle back” and apologize once most of the Afghans are dead. Well, except the 9 year old girls who will be enslaved to be rapead repeatedly. What a fucking disgrace it is to be an American these days. At least Mike Obama is happy her hubby is in his third term.

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