US envoy: Fear of Taliban conquering Kabul are overblown

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington’s special envoy to Afghanistan says predictions that the Taliban will quickly overrun Afghan government forces and conquer Kabul once U.S. and coalition forces have fully withdrawn are unduly pessimistic. Zalmay Khalilzad told the House Foreign Affairs panel Tuesday that “statements that their forces will disintegrate and the Talibs will take over in short order are mistaken.” Many of the House committee’s members expressed deep worry that President Joe Biden’s decision to fully withdraw by September will lead to chaos and intensified civil war. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, asserted that there is “zero chance” the Taliban will abide by commitments their leaders made in a February 2020 agreement with the Trump administration.

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