Insurgents Poised to Reclaim Afghanistan: Report

Kabul will be in crosshairs by 2015 if US leaves
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2013 12:30 PM CST
Insurgents Poised to Reclaim Afghanistan: Report
Afghan National Army forces look towards a C-130 transport aircraft at the Afghan Air Force Base in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Afghanistan's insurgents are on the verge of a resurgence. If the US fully withdraws from the country next year, militants will swiftly reclaim much of the country, threatening Kabul as early as 2015, according to the latest National Intelligence Estimate. Indeed, experts believe things will get worse even if the US doesn't pull out, sources familiar with the classified document tell the LA Times. "It's very pessimistic about the future," one official says. "More pessimistic than ever before."

Some administration officials are complaining that the report, which is the work of all 16 intelligence agencies, is "more dark" than usual, and underestimates Afghan security forces, the Washington Post reports. "What we're going to see is a recalibration of political power," one official said. "It's not going to be an inevitable rise of the Taliban." The administration is considering leaving troops in Afghanistan—the top allied commander wants 12,000—but is having difficulty reaching an agreement to do so with Hamid Karzai. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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