WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A new intelligence assessment predicts gains made by the United States and its allies in Afghanistan will be significantly eroded by 2017.
The National Intelligence Estimate, which includes input from 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, says the Taliban and other power brokers will become increasingly influential in Afghanistan as the United States gradually withdraws its military effort, even if the United States retains several thousand troops in the country and continues funding its government, the Washington Post reported Sunday.
The report suggests Afghanistan will fall into chaos if Washington and Kabul do not sign a security pact that would keep an international military force in the country.
Some officials disagree with the dark tone of the report, arguing it does not adequately reflect the growing strength of Afghanistan's security forces, the newspaper said.
It quoted an unnamed U.S. official who saw the report as saying, "What we're going to see is a recalibration of power, territory and that kind of thing. It's not going to be an inevitable rise of the Taliban."
Another government official said, "An assessment that says things are going to be gloomy no matter what you do ... that's just a view. I would not think it would be the determining view."