The Pentagon is preparing to evacuate the American Embassy and U.S. citizens in Kabul as the Biden administration braces for a possible collapse of the government within 30 days.
Indeed, the Taliban is aggressively advancing across the north, while Afghan security forces try to defend shrinking territory in the south and west, as reported by the New York Times. Thus, the Department of Defense has no choice but to accelerate evacuation.
On Thursday, the embassy sent an alert, urging Americans to “leave Afghanistan immediately using available commercial flight options.”
While Afghan security forces have continued fighting in some areas, they’ve been forced to retreat in several northern provincial capitals. The Taliban seized the city of Ghazni, about 90 miles south of Kabul, on Thursday.
A senior Biden administration official said in an interview that the Taliban may soon take Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh Province and the country’s economic engine, which could lead to a surrender of the Afghan government by September.
Three contingents of Marines are preparing for the potential evacuation, according to officials. A battalion of several hundred is already on the embassy grounds, responsible for evacuating 4,000 employees, including 1,400 Americans.
Additionally, the Pentagon is moving a Marine expeditionary unit with over 2,000 Marines into position closer to the air route over western Pakistan.