U.S. officials previously believed the Afghan government would collapse in about six months, but the Taliban's rapid offensive has them rethinking the timeline, CNN reports, citing two sources familiar with discussions on the matter. Now, there's a sense that the fall could occur much more quickly, though it's not clear if there are any specific estimates. On Tuesday, the Taliban took three more provincial capitals, so the group has seized nine of these key cities in just five days.
Afghanistan's capital Kabul, where the U.S. embassy is located, isn't considered to be under immediate threat, but the accelerated timeline does mean Washington is at least preparing for a further drawdown of the embassy in the coming days or weeks, the sources told CNN.
Some members of the Biden administration who were initially resistent to pulling diplomats out of Afghanistan are reportedly more open to beginning the process now before a large number of personnel have to be evacuated under duress further down the line, per CNN. Read more at CNN.