D.he circumstances of the Afghan collapse not only led to confessions of guilt and mutual accusation in Germany, but also created a significant strain on German-American relations. The heads of the grand coalition strove for unity. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) said she would agree with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD), who had previously said “we all misjudged the development”.
From the Union parliamentary group, however, it was also said that Maas had given the Bundestag the impression in June that a conquest of power by the Taliban was not imminent for the time being; the German security services had already drawn a more serious picture of the situation. Other voices in turn pointed out that the Union-led Federal Ministry of the Interior had spent a long time determining which Afghan aid workers and local workers should be entitled to German protection and help and which were not.
According to information from those who received information from the intelligence service, the German services were well informed about the plans and capabilities of the Taliban. Reports were made about the planned state building in a Taliban caliphate, and about the establishment of state and parallel religious structures that are supposed to be similar to those in Iran. However, there were no precise estimates of the speed of the advance of the Islamist militias. Maas said on Monday that everyone was wrong in this forecast, including the intelligence services.
The German foreign intelligence service BND not only gives regular assessments of the situation to the federal government, but also provides information to the parliamentary area. According to this information, it was actually not foreseen that the Taliban could take over power in the entire country so quickly and that the Afghan army would do so little to oppose the Islamists. Unfavorable forecasts set the tipping point at the end of the year at the earliest. However, the overall scenario was correct, i.e. the assessment that the Taliban were determined to set up a new Islamist emirate and that they would therefore first try to cut off Kabul. This script has now been filmed in fast motion.
There are two possible explanations for the fact that the situation slipped so quickly. At the beginning of August, a paper circulated by American secret services, about which the “Washington Post” reported: The collapse of the country could take place in 30 to 90 days, it said. In June, the American services had assumed that Kabul could come under the control of the Taliban within six to twelve months after the withdrawal of the American military. This assessment in turn evidently led to the state security forces and their political leadership weakening their will to defend themselves.