Civil war is likely coming to Afghanistan under its new Taliban rulers, which could lead to the resurgence of al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups, Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Saturday.
"My military estimate is … that the conditions are likely to develop of a civil war," Milley told Fox News in an interview from the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where he was inspecting the military's work to process almost 20,000 Afghan evacuees and to thank U.S. European Command troops who set up the operations and a huge tent city.
"I don't know if the Taliban is going to [be] able to consolidate power and establish governance," he added.
Milley also said he thinks terrorists will end up using the chaos in Afghanistan to make new gains.
"You could see a resurgence of terrorism coming out of that general region within 12, 24, 36 months. And we're going to monitor that," he said.
Further, Milley commented that there is "at least a very good probability of a broader civil war and that will then, in turn, lead to conditions that could, in fact, lead to a reconstitution of al-Qaeda or a growth of ISIS or another myriad of terrorist groups."
The general, however, said it's too soon to tell if the complete withdrawal from Afghanistan has made the United States safer.
He also said it will be more difficult to maintain security and gather intelligence in the region without the United States having an official presence in Afghanistan.
"We'll have to reestablish some human intelligence networks, etc., and then as opportunities present themselves, we'll have to continue to conduct strike operations if there's a threat to the United States," Milley commented.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has said the United States will use "over horizon" capabilities to fight terrorism, meaning the use of airstrikes rather than ground-based operations, and Milley said Saturday that is a "possible" solution, but not enough.
"We're going to have to maintain very, very intense levels of indicators and warnings and observation and ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance] over that entire region," said Milley.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.