‘Too Optimistic’: Danish Intelligence Admits It Didn’t Foresee Kabul Falling to Taliban in 2021

Europe

In a briefing to the Danish parliament as recently as 9 August, the Danish Defence Intelligence Service predicted that it was relatively unlikely that Kabul would fall in 2021. On 15 August, in less than a week, the Taliban* stormed into the Afghan capital, wreaking havoc and triggering a hasty evacuation.

In a sensational statement, the Danish Defence Intelligence Service (FE) has admitted that it didn’t foresee Kabul falling to the Taliban in 2021.

In a briefing to the Danish parliament as recently as 9 August, FE stated that it was relatively unlikely that Kabul would fall in 2021. However, it didn’t take long for the intelligence experts to be proven wrong: the Afghan capital was captured by the Taliban on 15 August, less than a week later.

FE pledged to use the experiences garnered from Afghanistan to improve its internal workings.

Defence and security experts called both the mistake and its admission unusual.

Thomas Wegener Friis, an associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark, affiliated with the Centre for War Studies, said that the matter is “far from commonplace”.

According to the newspaper Berlingske, already in June, a weekly report from the commander of the Danish forces in Afghanistan described the development in the country as “worrying”, adding that the Afghan army was challenged by the Taliban. Among others, he said that the morale of the Afghan army was “declining”…

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