Stoltenberg: NATO was not aware that the Taliban could return to power so quickly

Jens Stoltenberg - NATOPhoto: Yves Herman / Pool Photo via AP
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NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says the Alliance had good intelligence about the return of the Taliban but that there was a lack of information on how quickly it could happen.

“We had very extensive intelligence, and the information we relied on showed that there was a great risk associated with the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan,” Stoltenberg told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

NATO was aware that there was a great danger that the Taliban could return to power, the NATO chief noted, acknowledging that there were certain weaknesses in the intelligence.

Evacuation – top priority

“It was said, among others, I also said, that there was a very great danger that the Taliban could return. But the information was not good enough in regards to how quickly it could happen. The pace of the collapse of the political and military leadership in Afghanistan has created extra big problems,” Stoltenberg said.

Evacuation is now at the top of the agenda, Stoltenberg added. But it is characterized by a disturbing and confusing picture in the country, he noted.

“What NATO has worked most on is to make the airport function, to make planes land and take off with people who have to leave the country. Things are going in the right direction,” the NATO chief stated.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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