WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — A recent U.S. intelligence report on the war in Afghanistan suggests that any gains that the United States and other allies have made will be lost by 2017.
The grim assessment from The National Intelligence Estimate – which includes data from 16 US intelligence agencies — predicts that the Taliban and other power players in the war-torn country will become increasingly influential regardless of whether the US maintains a military presence, the Washington Post reports.
The report shows a very quick descent into chaos for the country the U.S. military has been in since 2001, and has claimed the lives of an estimated 2,285 American soldiers, according to the Department of Defense.
The report warns that should leaders in Kabul and Washington not make a security act for a continued military presence –and billions in additional funding — the country will enter a “more dark” era of power struggles.
“In the absence of a continuing presence and continuing financial support,” the intelligence assessment “suggests the situation would deteriorate very rapidly,” one U.S. official familiar with the report, told the Post.
The gains made by the U.S. and its allies will become irrelevant in the coming years, with the report noting that the Taliban and similar groups would re-claim power by 2017.
One official told the Post that the assessment was perhaps a bit too gloomy.
“I think what we’re going to see is a recalibration of political power, territory, and that kind of thing,” said one U.S. official who felt the assessment was unfairly negative. “It’s not going to be an inevitable rise of the Taliban.”
“An assessment that says things are going to be gloomy no matter what you do, that you’re just delaying the inevitable, that’s just a view,” the official told the Post. “I would not think it would be the determining view.”