“They have no intention of abiding by their agreement,” said one official briefed on the intelligence, which two others described as explicit evidence shedding light on the Taliban’s intentions.
Trump himself acknowledged that reality in extraordinary comments Friday, saying the Taliban could “possibly” overrun the Afghan government after U.S. troops withdraw.
“Countries have to take care of themselves,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “You can only hold someone’s hand for so long.” Asked if the Taliban could eventually seize power, Trump said it’s “not supposed to happen that way, but it possibly will.”
The intelligence described by the American officials is consistent with what Taliban sources have been telling an NBC News reporter in Pakistan. Those Taliban representatives say the group views the peace process as a way of securing the withdrawal of American “occupiers,” after which it will attack the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan.