An emboldened Taliban poses a severe and expanding threat to the government of Afghanistan, remains close to al Qaeda, and believes it can return to power by force if necessary, according to a United Nations Security Council report released on Wednesday.
With the last remaining US troops due to leave Afghanistan in the coming months, the report compiled by the UN Monitoring Team, which is charged with tracking security threats in Afghanistan, paints a bleak picture of the security outlook. It will be uncomfortable reading for the Biden administration as it works to end the US military presence in the country.
Biden has pledged to withdraw all remaining US forces by September 11 — the twentieth anniversary of 9/11.
As part of last year’s agreement between the preceding Trump administration and the Taliban, the militant Islamist organization promised to instruct its members “not to cooperate with groups or individuals threatening the security of the United States and its allies” as a quid pro quo for U.S. troop withdrawal.