'Significant risk' once U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan -CIA Director

"There is a significant risk once the U.S. military and the coalition militaries withdraw," Burns told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, although he said the United States would retain "a suite of capabilities."

Biden is set to announce in a speech scheduled for 2:15 p.m. EDT (1815 GMT) at the White House that all 2,500 U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan will be withdrawn no later than Sept. 11. By pulling out without a clear victory, the United States opens itself to criticism that a withdrawal represents a de facto admission of failure.

Video Transcript

- I guess what I would say at the start is that, you know, I think we have to be clear-eyed about the reality, looking at the potential terrorism challenge, that both al-Qaeda and ISIS in Afghanistan remain intent on recovering the ability to attack US targets, whether it's in the region, in the West, or ultimately in the homeland. After years of sustained counterterrorism pressure, the reality is that neither of them have that capacity today, and that there are terrorist groups, whether it's al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or in other parts of the world, who represent much more serious threats today.

I think it is also clear that our ability to keep that threat in Afghanistan in check from either al-Qaeda or ISIS in Afghanistan has benefited greatly from the presence of US and coalition militaries on the ground and in the air, fueled by intelligence provided by the CIA and our other intelligence partners. When the time comes for the US military to withdraw, the US government's ability to collect and act on threats will diminish. That's simply a fact.

There is a significant risk once the US military and the coalition militaries withdraw, but we will work very hard at CIA and with all of our partners to try to provide the kind of strategic warning to others in the US government that enables them and us to address that threat if it starts to materialize [INAUDIBLE].