Ex-CIA director calls Taliban takeover of Afghanistan ‘catastrophic’

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Former CIA director David Petraeus on Sunday called the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan “disastrous” and “catastrophic” for the world.

The retired US Army general and former commander of military forces in Afghanistan cautioned that “there are no good outcomes here,” he said on “The Rita Cosby Show” on WABC radio on Friday.

“This is an enormous national security setback and it is on the verge of getting much worse unless we decide to take really significant action,” Petraeus, 68, said.

“If we communicate effectively with the Taliban that they need to halt what they are doing or we will bring the might of the US military down upon them, we can stop this,” he said.

“The outcome, whether it is the Taliban taking over the country or it’s the kind of civil war that we saw in the wake of the collapse of the post-Soviet government, there are no good outcomes here,” Petraeus added. “In fact, there is nothing more than horrible outcomes unless we are willing to acknowledge that this is not going as more optimistic projections laid out and take stock.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai awards a medal to outgoing commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan US General David Petraeus at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on July 18, 2011.
PRESIDENTIAL PALACE/AFP/Getty Images

The Taliban quickly seized the troubled nation after US troops were pulled out for the first time since 2001 — following an announcement from President Joe Biden last month.

The US agreed to withdraw troops last year after former President Trump’s administration negotiated with Taliban leaders — but the extremist terror group reneged on many of the promises it made for a negotiated settlement with Afghan officials.

On Sunday, Taliban forces faced little resistance as they overtook the capital of Kabul and closed in on the city’s airport, where US embassy staffers, including Ambassador Ross Wilson, waited to be evacuated.

Petraeus, who headed the CIA in 2011 and 2012, said the situation has not yet reached a point of no return, but said it would take “an enormous effort” to combat the renewed Taliban threat after the militant group retook Afghanistan.

Taliban militants are reportedly seen inside the Presidential Palace in Afghanistan Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Taliban militants are reportedly seen inside the Presidential Palace in Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Al Jezeera

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