The top U.S. military official said it is “possible” the United States will coordinate with the Taliban in the fight against the Islamic State, although he declined to make predictions about potential collaboration with Afghanistan’s new rulers, who could announce a new government as early as Thursday.

“We don’t know what the future of the Taliban is, but I can tell you from personal experience that this is a ruthless group from the past, and whether or not they change remains to be seen,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters Wednesday. “In war, you do what you must,” he added, even if it is “not what you necessarily want to do.”

American commanders worked with the Taliban to facilitate the evacuation of more than 124,000 people from Afghanistan in recent weeks. Both the United States and the Taliban share a common threat in the Islamic State, which was responsible for an attack outside Kabul airport last week that killed 13 U.S. service members and more than 170 civilians.

Here’s what to know

  • President Biden made an unscheduled trip Thursday evening to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, where members of the Marine Corps injured in the attack at Kabul airport last week are receiving treatment.
  • Despite the dangers, dozens of Afghan women took to the streets in western Afghanistan on Thursday in a rare public demonstration against Taliban restrictions on their right to work and seek education.
  • The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service, operated by the World Food Program, is set to resume flights in Afghanistan, allowing160 humanitarian organizations to continue their work in the country.
  • More than 31,000 of the roughly 124,000 evacuees from Afghanistan arrived in the United States between Aug. 17 and Aug. 31. That figure included nearly 24,000 “Afghans at risk,” the State Department said.