In the face of bipartisan criticism, President Joe Biden admitted on Monday afternoon that the collapse of Afghanistan had occurred earlier than his administration expected.
“This happened faster than we expected,” Biden said at the White House, accusing Afghanistan’s political and military leaders of giving up and fleeing the country.
The president also accused the Afghan government of blocking the United States from implementing large-scale evacuation plans prior to its withdrawal, arguing that it would create a “crisis of self-confidence.”
Whitehouse officials and US intelligence officials “are closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Afghanistan,” the president added.
A nearly 20-year mission in Afghanistan was aimed at removing al-Qaeda’s terrorist network, which was accused by intelligence officials of causing the September 11 terrorist attack. Biden also said the United States had killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden “10 years ago.”
Biden, who did not ask questions after the speech, added that the invasion of Afghanistan was “never nation-building” or “creating a centralized democracy.”
In his speech, Biden appeared to be touching on the ongoing turmoil at Kabul Airport, where many Americans and foreigners remain. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. military had been fired by armed assailants and forced to return fire to soldiers.
“Our diplomatic presence has also been strengthened at the airport,” Biden said, adding that the evacuation flight will take place over the next few days.
Meanwhile, the president suggested that the collapse of Afghanistan was the responsibility of former President Donald Trump, who negotiated an agreement with the Taliban to begin withdrawal on May 1, 2021, and his administration said Trump I was mediating.
However, in many statements last week, Trump criticized Biden’s withdrawal strategy, saying, “Before evacuating civilians and others who should be allowed to seek evacuation in our country. Can you even imagine taking out our army? “
“They are [military] People left behind top lights and very sophisticated equipment. Who can believe in such incompetence? Under my administration, all civilians and equipment would have been removed, “Mr. Trump also said, referring to American weapons and military vehicles recently captured by the Taliban army.
Biden, who was on vacation at Camp David over the weekend, faced serious bipartisan criticism for not dealing with the Taliban takeover and asking US military intelligence about the withdrawal. Even former Pentagon officials and generals have spoken out compared to the fall of Saigon in 1975, the Iran hostage crisis in 1979, or the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, comparing the collapse of the Afghan government and the evacuation of the US embassy. I did.
Biden did not speak on television recently, but other world leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have asked how the administration and the United States withdraw and evacuate foreigners. He expressed disappointment with the public about how he handled it.
When Afghanistan announced last month, Biden said it was not similar to the fall of Saigon in 1975, when the Vietnamese Communist Army took control of the capital and ended the Vietnam War.
The Taliban attack shocked US authorities. Just days before the Taliban entered Kabul with little or no resistance, US military assessments predicted that it might take months for it to fall.
On a television show Monday morning, senior members of Biden’s national security team and State Department officials sought to shift responsibility for the collapse of Afghan troops.
However, they acknowledged the speed with which Afghanistan was hijacked by the Taliban, who were accused of containing terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network, and said their operations last week surprised them. ..
“It’s certain that the city collapsed much faster than expected,” Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser, said in today’s show, “willingness” to fight back against Afghan troops. Was missing. group.
Over the weekend, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States had achieved its goal in Afghanistan. It was to defeat al-Qaeda after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But despite his claim, why the U.S. military stayed in South Asian countries for nearly 20 years, and why military leaders were stationed in South Asia for years. Many questions remain as to whether they were willing to misunderstand the American people.
The United States will focus on securing Kabul Airport, National Security Adviser John Finer told reporters Monday afternoon. He said additional US troops would flow to the airport on Monday and Tuesday. Earlier Monday, the White House confirmed that there were “a significant number of Americans” still in Afghanistan in the turmoil at Kabul Airport.