The political crisis in the United States, caused by the fall of the Afghan government, does not even think to end: American President Joe Biden continues to make excuses for strategic miscalculations. His task is to explain to the public how the Washington-backed government in Kabul collapsed in a matter of days. In addition, the head of the White House needs to somehow reconcile his fellow citizens with an unusual situation for them: the United States acts from the position of the weak and is forced to coordinate its actions with the Taliban who defeated them.
“I don’t think it was a failure” – this phrase, said by Joe Biden in an interview with ABC News journalist George Stephanopoulos, perhaps most fully characterizes the position taken by the ruling US administration. “When you have the government of Afghanistan, and the leader of that government gets on a plane and flies to another country… When you see the Afghan army that we trained completely collapse… This is what happened! Here, ”the American president finished his thought.
In an interview, the head of the White House went so far as to say openly: the Americans are forced to cooperate with the Taliban and depend on the decisions of the militants. “We didn’t know what the Taliban would do, whether they would somehow prevent the people from leaving. What are they doing? They interact with us, they allow the US citizens and our specialists to leave, they allow the embassies to leave. The situation with those who helped us there is more complicated, ”said Mr Biden, referring to the Afghans who worked with the United States. He stressed that he believed that it was impossible to organize a retreat better. “I don’t really understa-nd the idea that there was some way to leave without chaos,” admitted Mr. Biden.
And this, we recall, after he himself in April 2021 asserted that the American withdrawal from Afghanistan would be “responsible, clear and safe.” Then, in July, the head of the White House assured reporters that the withdrawal from the country is being carried out in a “clear and safe regime with an emphasis on the safety of the departing soldiers” – at the same time, however, he noted that parallels with the withdrawal from South Vietnam cannot be drawn and evacuations there will be no helicopters from the roof of the embassy.
Mr. Stephanopoulos did not back down and inquired: was the American intelligence service wrong or, by making such statements, the president simply chose to ignore its conclusions? “If you look at the reports, there was no consensus. It was believed that everything would happen closer to the end of the year, ”the president responded. He commented, albeit reluctantly, the famous footage showing Afghans caught on American planes flying from Kabul falling and crashing to death. “That was four or five days ago!” – exclaimed the president, although two days have passed since the shooting of these frames. He said that when he saw this footage, he understood: the situation needs to be taken under control.
It is not yet very clear whether the situation has been brought under control: the US State Department and the Pentagon have disagreed on whether everyone can get to Kabul airport. The diplomatic department said it could not guarantee safe passage to it, and the military department, in turn, said that the Taliban guaranteed security. The head of state promised that if the Americans need to be taken out, the US troops will remain in Afghanistan even after the end of the operation, scheduled for August 31. Even the usually supportive media outlets are not happy with this behavior of Joe Biden. Thus, on the pages of the CNN website, it is noted:
“The problem is not that the president has decided to abandon the war, which has long lost p-opular support. He is being asked to explain things that he could have influenced: a poorly planned evacuation operation, the failure of a p-rogram to speed up the iss-uance of visas to thousands of Afghans, and a missed o-pportunity to evacuate Am-ericans in advance. ” Crit-icism of the president com-es from both Republicans and Democrats.
Meanwhile, the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, along with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Miley, were also sent to answer questions from the press. They looked rather dull and clearly felt uncomfortable.
From their speech, however, the motivation for the decision to leave the Bagram airbase became clear: there were simply not enough diminishing resources for its defense.
“The simultaneous work of both Bagram and the embassy required a significant number of military personnel, more than we had at our disposal. We had to close one thing – in the end, an appropriate decision was made, ”explained Mr. Miley.
Lloyd Austin, in turn, said that the Americans stationed at the moment at the Kabul airport, there is no way to physically pick up people from the city or other areas of Afghanistan. “I have no options to expand the area of operation to Kabul,” he said, re-emphasizing the US’s dependence on the Taliban.
It is noteworthy that the American approach to solving problems (or ignoring them) drew criticism from Washington’s closest ally – Great Britain. This country, we recall, lost 454 soldiers in the Afghan war, but was not involved in planning an exit. “The lesson for the UK is that interdependence should not become overdependence. We will be the best partners for other countries if we have some options and the ability to influence decisions, ”said Tom Tugenhadt, a member of the Conservative Party, a veteran of Afghanistan, during a debate in parliament. He suggested that these lessons be taken into account for future interaction with the United States in the framework of general military operations. He also found words of criticism personally for Joe Biden, who spoke negatively about the Afghan army: “Those who did not fight for their flag should be very careful in criticizing those who
Joe Biden and the Prime Minister of the UK Boris Johnson spoke by phone last Tuesday, and Mr. Johnson stressed “the need not to lose track of the successes achieved in Afghanistan over the past 20 years.” Speaking to The New York Times, a British government source stressed that Washington and London remain closest allies, despite the difficult situation in Afghanistan.