US intelligence agencies have warned the Biden administration that if the United States withdraws its military presence from Afghanistan under current circumstances, the nation would be at severe risk of falling under the control of the people who live there.

A New York Times article titled “Officials Try to Sway Biden Using Intelligence on Potential for Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan” warns that an intelligence assessment has predicted that if “U.S. troops leave before any deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government, the militant group will take over much of the country.”

“The intelligence estimate predicted that the Taliban would relatively swiftly expand their control over Afghanistan, suggesting that the Afghan security forces remain fragile despite years of training by the American military and billions of dollars in U.S. funding,” NYT reports.

The New York Times, which has consistently supported all US wars including the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, informs us the Taliban has been “stalling” to avoid signing a power-sharing deal with the existing government in Afghanistan.

“The Biden administration is making a final effort before May 1 to show progress in slow-moving negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Doha, Qatar,” NYT reports. “The Taliban, according to American officials, are stalling.”

And, I mean, why wouldn’t they? As Defense Priorities policy director Ben Friedman puts it, “If this assessment is right, and the Taliban could take most of Afghanistan if US forces left, and they want that, why sign a deal limiting themselves to less? Or why not sign to get the US out and renege? Keeping US forces there is just a delaying tactic.”

If the most powerful faction in Afghanistan wants power and has the ability to simply take it, they stand nothing to gain by signing a power-sharing agreement with a faction that is incapable of holding power. The New York Times and the US intelligence cartel (if one can even categorize these as separate entities at this point) are trying to spin the ongoing military presence in Afghanistan as a temporary situation awaiting conditions which will be arriving shortly, and that’s simply false. The Taliban will not voluntarily choose to make itself less powerful.

And, after the Afghanistan Papers exposed the fact that the US war machine has been lying left and right to justify the continuation of the occupation of Afghanistan, you would have to be out of your mind to believe that’s not intentional. The US military is in Afghanistan not to protect women’s rights from control by the illiberal Taliban forces, but because it’s a crucial geostrategic region that the US stands much to gain on the world stage by controlling. This is why the Afghanistan Papers were quickly memory-holed by the mass media as soon as they came out, and why now all we hear about is more made-up reasons why leaving would be disastrous.

When the US-centralized power alliance babbles about “conditions” which need to be met before there can be a full military withdrawal from Afghanistan, the conditions they are really referring to are a puppet regime in Tehran, in Moscow, and in Beijing. As long as Iran, Russia and China successfully resist absorption into the empire-like blob of US client states, the military presence will remain and narratives will be manufactured to justify it.

The Taliban is an entirely regional power with entirely regional goals; there is no defense-based argument for using military force to keep them out of power in a nation on the other side of the planet. Arguments that they must be kept out of power by military force to protect Afghan women from their regressive ideology is nonsensical unless you also say the US military must be used to forcibly end all illiberal cultural norms everywhere in the world, which would also be absurd.

All the US empire and its narrative managers are really saying when they claim the Taliban will take power if the US leaves is that without the US in Afghanistan, the US won’t be controlling Afghanistan anymore. And, like, duh. Of course it won’t. The people who live there will be determining the fate of their own nation, by violence if they so choose. Giving a nation back its sovereignty necessarily means letting them control their own fate, per definition. Using that self-evident fact to argue against the cessation of military force is just admitting you don’t believe other nations should be self-sovereign.

Saying there might be violence and oppression without an oppressive force of violent thugs controlling things is silly in a couple of different ways. It is a known fact that Australian forces occupying Afghanistan have already committed horrific war crimes there, and if the US government stopped stopped obstructing the International Criminal Court from investigating potential war crimes of American forces it would certainly find a lot there too.

The US is at this point making the argument, “If we don’t keep killing the Afghans, they might kill each other.” The Taliban has warned that if the United States remains in Afghanistan after the May 1st deadline established in a previous peace deal they will begin attacking occupying forces, so pretending the US empire is maintaining the peace by continuing the occupation is entirely baseless. They’re not there to maintain peace, they’re there to maintain control.

Should the US military permanently occupy foreign countries to control what happens there? That’s really the argument on the table right now. Ignore all the narrative distortion and focus there.


Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at  or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on , following my antics on , or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi or . If you want to read more you can buy my new book Poems For Rebels (you can also download a PDF for five bucks) or my old book . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, . Everyone, racist platforms excluded,  to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

41 responses to “US Intelligence Warns Withdrawal Could Lead To Afghanistan Being Controlled By Afghans”

  1. Opium. A one word summary of 20 years of war, terror and capitol murder.

  2. OH God!! A truth-teller like Lawerence Wilkerson is allowed to speak at a fake-news alternate reality entity like the Ron Paul institute? Stunning! To say the least.

  3. For the first time, United States hegemony was treated disdainfully; for the first time, the United States “right” to claim its values – its “style” of democracy – as universally applicable, was publicly and flatly contradicted.
    Even the posture of “speaking from strength” was dismissed, and the United States” pressure of an alliance “bloc” system “despised’”. All spoken with an air of impunity (you need us, more than we need you). Strong stuff; no wonder Mr. Blinken looked shell-shocked.
    This great article can be read here:
    Blinkens Pièce de Theatre Failed; Its Script Was Passe by Alastair Crooke!

  4. Perhaps the Saudi Prince will end up like his many victims!!
    So, after six years of relentless aerial bombing in Yemen causing the worlds worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations, the Saudis and their American military supplier, seem to have developed a conscience for peace and ending suffering.
    The real reason for trying to end the conflict is the perilous state of the Saudi oil-dependent economy. Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil, gas and petroleum industry, recently announced that its profits have slumped by nearly half in 2020 compared with the year before. Down from $88 billion to $49 billion.
    Given that its oil economy provides nearly 90 per cent of state budget that is a stupendous hit on the Saudi finances. The Saudi rulers rely on hefty state subsidies to keep its 34 million population content. With income from the oil industry nosediving that means state deficits will explode to maintain public spending, or else risk social unrest from dire cutbacks.
    This great article can be read here:
    Crashing Saudi Oil Economy Explains Urgent Yemeni Peace Offer by Finian Cunningham!

  5. Silly girl… If US Intelligence will not let US Citizens elect their own leadership, why should they let anyone else do so?

  6. Yeah, Afghanistan is the worst place in the world to the empire keep troops. They had a lot of dirty work to make it till there. But they are stuck without direct support from the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. To make things more difficult, they can’t destabilize (through CIA black ops nor through media) Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, These are more inclined to die with Russians in case of a war than making deals with Americans troublemakers. They know America cannot be trusted, so it’s a dead end for a tactical standpoint. Pakistan, India, China are not viable options for America, they know too much how this game is played and it would not have the results expected. The whole purpose of America after walking-through overall Middle East stealing oil and gas, raping, torturing, ruining secular cultures is Iran. Iran is the answer they need to make things right in their evil minds. Look in the map. Americans are very predictable in war. They don’t like audience and unexpected guests around,. They like to attack from all sides and if they could make every target stop while they deploy jets and troops to kill, they would. They are an unpleasant enemy to face: the coward. It’s not by chance Israel became the same as the master is. I want to see the underdog Israel – the American military post for genocide and torture – go in a war side by side with the Empire against Iran. I think everyone on Middle East is waiting for that too. Russia should invite all Palestinians to live in Russia. Then everyone should help to make a hole so deep to be filled with water from the ocean to never let anyone call that cursed land a country again. Just death, misery and evil things come from there since they make a spot for Israel there.

  7. biden supporters in gov and media are the real traitors to usa, first they take out cali prop187 because they love bribe foreigners for votes, then toss most burden on self employed/middle class in form of multiple increase in living cost/inflation!

    they order bush and obama to destroy iraq to syria just to do migrant crisis on western countries=refugee program abuse=import more foreign voters that only help non-western nations remain cheap outsource for foreign interest, thus democracy dies

    they still want to take out syria=hate withdrawal

    2007 wesley clark warned majority of media and gov want to kill iraq to syria

    they give double standard climate change regulations to non-western countries called developing status

    real justice demand strip all biden supporters in gov of half their wealth and then give all legal citizens the same healthcare as city employees

    1. …as to the most important/consequential political issue$ [monetary injustice, foreign policy, the miserable, gd fool ‘war on drugs’, etc.] there are no important differences between biden, etc. and his brain-laundered democrat supporters and trump, etc. and his brain-laundered republican supporters…ugh…

      …this video should shed some honest light for even the most foggy, brain-laundered republicrat-level voter:

  8. ….decent AMERICANS can barely stand to be ‘ruled’ by these republicrat bankster puppets…i can only imagine the abject hatred FOREIGNERS feel about having their political outcomes determined by the likes of biden, trump, obama, bush, et al…ugh…

  9. …as ?chomsky put it, ‘the surest way to lower the level of violence is to STOP PARTICIPATING IN IT’..

    …unfortunately the bankster puppets who dominate our public offices are immune/deaf to the desire of the majority of americans to bring the troops home now…[and to have never gone there in the first place]

    ..i am reminded of a quote [?misattributed] to vladimir lenin: “The state does not function as we desired. The car does not obey. A man is at the wheel and seems to lead it, but the car does not drive in the desired direction. It moves as another force wishes.”

  10. “Sally, here is the latest rumor I heard”, I said to Sally on a slovenly slow easy road somewhere in Tejas. “Sally, Eostre has decided to make a big appearance this year”. I said it matter-of-fact.
    Sally said back – “as if ‘Eostre’ could make a difference…..”. I feigned indignity and said “don’t underestimate the dawn”. Then we both looked around.
    “What is the US of a doing so far away in the country’s of others I muttered to myself”……then I said outlout:
    “Sally, I said to my wife just today, she is my light, I said to her just imagine if all the trillions been wasted lately on far-away excursions would of been spent on making things better for the citizens of the country who nary benefited, nay – who suffered harm – from the excursions for, by, and of the few?”. Yep, Sally nodded.
    But I also said, or at least I thought, more important than that, consider the harm that has been caused to those who live in these far away countries. How can there ever be recompense for that?”
    The rest of the day was melancholy and the air had a feeling of a change….it felt unsettled.

    The story continues!

    1. You know, how about a little number puzzle for the day:
      Today is the 27th day of the 3rd months. Lots of 3’s there. 4 of them to be exact.
      The year is 21, so add another three – 5 of them – and then for good measure lets add a 7 to the mix.
      The story continues!

    2. When will Sally know what to do with her premonition?

      1. I think though it will be revealed in the story.
        It came from the story, so it can be revealed in the story. Must be.
        I like telling a story as a way of escaping harsh reality, but I’ve been to prison and suffered just an itty bit compared to others and so I have some perspective from the edge and the story will speak to that assuming I keep telling it. Regardless, Herr Gregory Herr, much thanks for your inquiry.
        I’ve got some really good friends from way back and not too long ago I told them I had a premonition and said what it was and I think it came true, but not all dreams come true nor do all premonitions I reckon. Still, it is better if we can dream together. That is what I think.

        1. Okay Ken so I’ve gotta premonition.
          I dig what you say about escape by storytelling. I think “storytelling” may often not be “a form of escapism” at all, but rather an exploration of “felt” experience that is innately “real”, oftentimes intensely so, as with suffering or deep emotion or insight and “discovery”. Or simply just the pleasure of physical senses in a beauteous and bountiful Earth. So on with storytelling!
          How you think about your own suffering and understanding a comparison with the suffering of others shows me you possess a fine understanding and a generous disposition. I like your perspective and I will say my perspective has been shaped from that very edge.
          I’ll have to get back to my premonition maybe later. I think I might know what to do with it, but want to be sure.

  11. The title of this article really hit the target. Is all the suffering, death, and destruction justified to keep one or other group of Afghan people from being in control of Afghanistan? The vile US should get out now.

  12. Wars are money spinners. Halliburton et al. all want the war to continue and as the military industrial complex goes hand in glove with the US government I feel pretty confident they’ll be in Afghanistan for a while yet. When and if they do eventually leave, those companies of death will need to be furnished with another war to profit from. It’s one of the symptoms of an empire in its death throes: pointless wars … along with retreats into magical thinking (Qanon), the inability to maintain its own internal infrastructure… etc. All the signs point to an empire in decay.

  13. The word ‘tautology’ has multiple definitions. The one that most applies here is as follows: A statement that is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form. It is a word that I’ve rarely used, but which seems to fit this article most perfectly.

  14. Caitlin: Three days ago I wrote to friends the very same message. The Taliban are indigenous citizens. Initially students of fundamentalist Moslem ideology fighting the Russians, and now us, and clearly the existing government of their nation. Media in the U.S. presents the Taliban as though they were invading from Zeus!!!!

  15. The regime in Washington seems to have no ability to prevent Americans from killing one another in their own streets, some for political reasons and movements, many more out of blind hatred for other groups, and most out of simple avarice or psychopathology. Perhaps the regime in its ineffectiveness should stand down and withdraw. Withdrawal from the planet might be optimal.
    If law, order, peace, justice and preservation of life is any index of success, the gang trying to run the world from Washington is possibly the worst self-anointed hegemon in world history. Just look at the death toll, both inside and outside its national borders, made possible by its employ of the efficiencies of modern technology. How is this achieving “good” by any reasonable standards?
    If it’s not an absurd incidence of death from deliberate violence, there has also always been a surfeit of asymmetric deaths due to the skewed distribution of medical care, housing, education, nutrition, transportation, employment, income and most other societal amenities amongst various ethnic, racial and class subsets of the population. (As if these age old divisions were not enough, people are presently being instigated to sort themselves out on the basis of sex and gender, both real and imagined, to establish their victimhood, claim to recompense and guaranteed outcomes.) The place is as inequitable and ill-governed as other countries infamous for their poverty, incompetence and social stratification, and now it revels in its predicament, proclaiming one “woke” only if they fiercely go on the attack against some segment of their fellow citizens different from themselves. They fight “racism” (among other newfound prejudices) by becoming blatantly racist (or some other variety of hater).
    The only facet of such systemic dissension lacking in the US has been the raging religious wars endemic to many other countries. But not to worry, the Washington gang will probably try to fix that here the way Europe has been forced to swallow millions of Muslims with mammoth chips on their shoulders against Christians because of the wars we have brought to their countries which forced them into exile. The “Washington Plan” writ large has been a disaster for both the North American continent and much of the rest of the world as the virus of Yankee acquisition has spread far and wide through the vectors of supposed “free-market” capitalism and military might. As I said, the best for all would be for the regime to step down and withdraw, to the Moon or Mars would be preferable, not a mere replacement of Democrats with Republicans or vice versa, but a complete return to the drawing board.

  16. What a horrid thought!!!! [sarcasm]. Democrats have criticized Nixon for decades for delaying withdrawal from Vietnam, a war THEY started. Apparently, in our hypocrisy uber alles world, they have learned only how to be even more hypocritical.

  17. The US wants to remain after the May 1st deadline so they can get attacked, which will be the reason more US troops need to be sent to Afgthanistan.
    Kind of like the capitol “riot” where congress and all the cops knew the protest was going to happen then provided no timely reinforcements so an incident could happen. Now More troops, less freedoms. Mission accomplished!
    Kind of like Fort Sumpter.

  18. It’s rather striking that the only people we haven’t heard about for 20 years are the Afghan women that the boyz initially set out to liberate. Do they prefer getting raped by an American soldier who’s read the Bible or not be raped by a Taliban who’s only read the Coran and doesn’t even wear a suit and tie when he goes to church because he simply won’t go to church at all no matter what you do. That is the question.

  19. “US Intelligence Warns Withdrawal Could Lead To Afghanistan Being Controlled By Afghans”

    The horror, the horror.

  20. The US oligarchy has been addicted to war since 1945. Just like British Empire builders were addicted to empire building.
    Addicts have only one focus: their next hit.
    Everything is dispensable, including human lives, Mother Nature and sanity.

    1. Not the only aspect of addiction apparent in the conflict. Don’t forget one of the CIA’s major sources of off the books financing. Opium production has skyrocketed since the Taliban has been under attack. Left alone, the Taliban will take it down again. Not sure the CIA can afford that right now.

  21. Years ago, during the pro-Soviet government of Afghanistan, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ran an article on the progress women were making at that time. So any crocodile tears now about the fate of women if we leave are just hypocritical posturing.

  22. United States troops are there because of the drug money and nothing else.

  23. The recurring irony is that the US does what they accuse others of and on a grander scale. Freedom for other nations is US intervention and occupation including a mass scale of destruction, violence and death. There are no acts of terror with a larger scale of death, destruction and horror than the US and its “war on terror”.

    There is nothing legitimate or just about a war on terror. A terrorist is an undefined person from an undefined country. You can’t have a war on undefined persons from an undefined location. That’s not a war and it’s not self defense, it’s an excuse to be the biggest terrorist on earth.

  24. This enemy – The Empire – you cannot defeat. You can only drive it deeper inside you. How do they practice deceit? They rip the truth apart and reweave it into the lie. Nothing is more convincing. To remake your reality in the middle of so many lies, you gotta do that in your own terms. The media helps people believe that there is an order to this pandemic horseshit, war on terror (people reacting to oppression and tyranny wrapped as a gift given to us from the “good guys”). There isn’t. Is it not peculiar that one feels the greatest aversion towards the very people who are most similar to oneself?

    1. “Never tell a secret with your eyes
      It’s the eyes that let you down
      Tell a little truth with many lies
      It’s the only way I’ve found”

      –Ronnie James Die
      Straight Through The Heart

      1. Dio, sorry. Typo

  25. Sending less money and weaponry to Afghanistan is bound to reduce the killing between rival factions. Factions are pretty fluid in Afghanistan when the winds of war and commerce change.

  26. I think there’s too much money being made in Afghanistan for the U.S. to leave. What about the opium crop – that’s got to figure into it also. The CIA is probably making tons of money from it to fund their “activities.” This is an illegal occupation, just like Iraq. I wish the Afghans would kick us out. We need to leave ffs.

      1. I think it highly likely that the reason it is such a graveyard is because the landscape will barely support the extremely industrious and adaptive people who live there, much less an invading force. There is nothing to pillage. A logistical nightmare.

  27. The USA can’t possibly allow any country to run itself. God (well, in this case Allah) forbid such a terrible thing should be allowed to happen!

    What next? The USA run itself WITHOUT help from Russia, China, N. Korea, commies, Muslims, Mexicans, lefties, Blacks, other colours, criminals, and all the other people that keep the country running smoothly?

    What is the world coming to, I say?

  28. Just so you know, the Biden Administration is now officially the Biden-Harris Administration. It’s clown world- a sick perversion of a 3 ring circus entertainment division.

  29. I see no problem. ust ha e thd US take all their weapons and put the Taliban on a reservation like they did the Indians.

    1. @Khatika: You are ridiculous. You think that the US colonizing Afghanistan will solve the problem? If you’re trying to make a joke, you know you’re tone deaf don’t you?

Leave a Reply