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The Wall Street Journal: Diplomats had warned Blinken of quick fall of Kabul

About two dozen diplomats working at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan warned Secretary of State Antony Blinken in July that Kabul risked falling to the Taliban shortly after the military’s withdrawal, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the Hill reported.

The Wall Street Journal: Diplomats had warned Blinken of quick fall of Kabul

The Wall Street Journal: Diplomats had warned Blinken of quick fall of Kabul

STEPANAKERT, AUGUST 20, ARTSAKHPRESS: The classified cable, sent through the State Department’s confidential dissent channel, detailed swift gains by the Taliban throughout the country, the collapse of Afghan forces and offered recommendations for speeding up evacuation efforts.

The July 13 cable also used tougher language to describe actions being taken by the Taliban, a source told the Journal, highlighting that the administration's officials on the ground gave leaders clear warnings about the group’s advancement.

News of the cable comes as the U.S. is struggling to evacuate between 10,000 and 15,000 Americans believed to be in Afghanistan, along with more than 80,000 Afghans who likely qualify for evacuation based on their work with the U.S. military and government. 

The cable urged the State Department to begin registering and collecting personal data of Afghan interpreters and other allies who qualify for special immigrant visas to leave the country and said the U.S. should begin evacuation flights no later than Aug. 1.

It also comes as administration officials have sought to blame the intelligence community for not anticipating the insurgent group's rapid takeover of the country.

“There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days,” Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday.   

The collapse has been embarrassing to the White House, particularly since President Biden on July 8 told the country that it would not see scenes echoing the U.S. retreat from Saigon in 1975 and that a Taliban takeover was “highly unlikely.”