The Taliban captured Bagram Air Base Sunday and released thousands of prisoners, including many senior al Qaeda operatives.
Why it matters: The prisoners were some of the Taliban's most hardened fighters and could pose a threat not only to Afghan citizens but to American security interests.
State of play: U.S. forces handed control of the airfield to Afghan government forces in early July.
- Estimates suggest that between 5,000 and 7,000 prisoners were left behind following the U.S. withdrawal, per CNN.
The big picture: The prison, Pul-e-Charkhi, is the largest in Afghanistan and contained a maximum security cell block for AQ and Taliban prisoners.
- Afghan government troops surrendered control of the base, located on the outskirts of Kabul, to the Taliban without a fight.
The big picture: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told senators Sunday that a previous assessment of how soon terrorist groups will likely reconstitute in Afghanistan will speed up because of what's happening there now, three sources on the phone call told Axios.
- On the phone call between top Biden officials and senators from both parties, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Milley whether, in light of recent events, they will revise an assessment to Congress in June of a "medium" risk of terrorist groups reconstituting in Afghanistan within two years.
- Milley responded "yes" — that he would have to assume that timeline would get moved up and that he would be happy to brief senators in a classified setting.