Drawdown of US embassy in Kabul is under discussion, sources say, as Taliban makes rapid gains in Afghanistan

There are active discussions about a further drawdown of the US embassy in Kabul among State Department officials, according to two sources familiar with the discussions, as the Taliban continues to gain ground in Afghanistan.

which have occurred much more rapidly than many US officials expected — have made the situation more urgent and sped up the conversations that have been happening for some time now, one source said.

US officials are no longer talking about six months as the likely timeline for the government of Afghanistan to collapse; they now believe it could happen much more quickly, the two sources said. The US military began withdrawing from the country earlier this year and has completed more than 95% of the US troop withdrawal, which will be completed by late August.

Right now, the State Department is working to identify essential personnel in the embassy and it is likely that some kind of partial drawdown of personnel occurs in the coming days or weeks, the sources said. The embassy already reduced the number of diplomats in Kabul earlier this year where hundreds serve and has slowly continued to cut back on the overall footprint in recent months. A partial drawdown would be a continuation of efforts to shrink the overall US footprint due to the security situation.

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