The Telegram (St. John's)
Military groups could use Afghanistan to threaten U.S. within two years
WASHINGTON - Top U.S. military leaders said that international militant groups like al Qaeda could pose a threat from Afghanistan to the U.S. homeland and American allies in two years.
President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw troops completely from Afghanistan by September has raised concerns that the country could erupt in full-scale civil war, providing al Qaeda space in which to rebuild and plan new attacks on U.S. and other targets.
“It would take possibly two years for them to develop that capability,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said during a congressional hearing.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said he agreed with the timeline and said there was a medium risk at the moment.
“If there was a collapse of the government, or a dissolution of the Afghan security forces, that risk would obviously increase,” Milley said.
The comments are some of clearest signs of concern in the military and intelligence community about the threat militant groups could pose from Afghanistan and the risks of a complete withdrawal.