President Biden says he is ‘completely behind’ the Afghanistan decision

A defiant President Joe Biden on Monday pleaded guilty to chaotic scenes with Afghans clinging to US military planes in Kabul in a desperate attempt to flee their homeland after the Taliban’s easy victory over an Afghan military used by America and NATO allies two decades in building .In the White House, Biden called the anguish from captured Afghan civilians “gut-wrenching” and admitted that the Taliban had achieved a much faster takeover of the country than his administration had expected. The United States rushed into troops to protect its own evacuating diplomats and others at Kabul airport, but the president expressed no other thoughts on his decision to stick to US commitment, formulated under the Trump administration, to end America’s longest war. , no matter what “I fully support my decision” to finally withdraw US forces, Biden said, acknowledging that the Afghan collapse unfolded far faster than the most pessimistic public forecasts for his administration. “This unfolded faster than we had anticipated,” he said. Despite declaring “the goat stops with me” – Biden blamed almost all of the Afghans for the shockingly rapid conquest of the Taliban. His gloomy comments were his first person in the world since the still foreign policy crisis of his still young presidency. Encouraged by the US withdrawal, Taliban fighters swept across the country last week, capturing the capital Kabul on Sunday and sending US-backed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the run. Biden said he had warned Ghani — who was named Afghanistan’s president in a U.S.-negotiated deal — to be prepared to fight a civil war with the Taliban after U.S. forces left. “They failed to do any of that,” he said. Internationally, the recording of the takeover of the Taliban and the chaos of the evacuation effort cast doubt on America’s obligations to its allies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was “bitter” to look at the complete collapse of a war that Germany and other NATO partners had followed the United States into after the 9/11 attacks, which were plotted from Afghanistan. The humiliating scenes certainly seemed to bring comfort to American enemies. At home, it all sparked sharp criticism, even from members of Biden’s own political party, who called on the White House to do more to rescue Afghan refugees, especially those who had helped the U.S. military in two decades. “We did not have to watch the scenes that we see at Kabul airport with our Afghan friends climb aboard the C-17s,” the rep said. Jason Crow, a Colorado Democrat and military veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan. why he and others called for the evacuations to start months ago. “It could have been done deliberately and methodically,” Crow said. “And we think it was a missed opportunity.” In addition to the life-and-death situation in Kabul, the timing of the crisis was unfortunate for Biden’s domestic efforts at home. It may well weaken his political status as he works to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and build congressional support for a $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and an even greater expansion of the social safety net. However, the focus at home and abroad was on Monday at Kabul airports, where thousands of Afghans captured by the sudden takeover of the Taliban rushed onto the tarmac and held onto U.S. military planes deployed to fly US embassy staff, which closed down on Sunday. , and other. At least seven people died in the chaos, including two who clung to the wheels of a C-17 and crashed into the asphalt as it flew away, and two others were shot by U.S. forces. The Americans said the men were armed but that there was no evidence that they were Taliban. With tens of thousands of American citizens and others as well as Afghans desperate to flee, Biden insisted that the United States had done everything they could to plan. leaders had called on the United States not to make a public effort to evacuate former military translators, women activists and others most vulnerable to the Taliban, saying it could in itself trigger what the Afghans said could be “a crisis of confidence”. “Biden Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said late Monday that the United States, which had taken charge of air traffic control at Kabul airport, had resumed air lifts after suspending them due to tomorrow’s onslaught on runways by frightened Afghans. Kirby said U.S. forces plan to complete their surveillance of the evacuation by August 31, also the date Biden has set for officially ending the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan. The United States hopes to fly up to 5,000 people a day once again 6,000 U.S. troops are deployed to ensure evacuation arrives and even more transport planes can land, he said. Biden promised to work to also evacuate private U.S. citizens and citizens in foreign governments, as well as Afghans who previously worked with Americans in the country, journalists, prominent women and other Afghans considered the greatest risk of Taliban reprisals. As of July, the United States had a visa application for 18,000 former Afghan workers alone seeking refuge in the United States and had been able to evacuate only a few thousand in what was to be an accelerated process over the past month. veteran groups and nonprofit groups working with Afghan women appealed to Biden on Monday to keep troops at Kabul airport for at least the end of the month, to keep the escape route out of the Taliban’s hands. – AP reporters Matthew Lee, Eric Tucker and Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington and Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed to this report.

A defiant President Joe Biden on Monday pleaded guilty to chaotic scenes with Afghans clinging to US military planes in Kabul in a desperate attempt to flee their homeland after the Taliban’s easy victory over an Afghan military used by America and NATO allies two decades of building.

In the White House, Biden called the torment of captured Afghan civilians “gut-wrenching” and admitted that the Taliban had achieved a much faster takeover of the country than his administration had expected. The United States rushed into troops to protect its own evacuating diplomats and others at Kabul airport.

But the president expressed no other thoughts on his decision to stick to the U.S. commitment formulated under the Trump administration to end America’s longest war, no matter what.

“I fully support my decision” to finally withdraw US forces, Biden said, acknowledging that the Afghan collapse unfolded far faster than the most pessimistic public forecasts for his administration. “This was developing faster than we had anticipated,” he said.

Despite declaring “the goat stops with me” – Biden blamed almost all of the Afghans for the shockingly rapid conquest of the Taliban.

His gloomy comments were his first person in the world since the biggest foreign policy crisis in his still young presidency. Encouraged by the US withdrawal, Taliban fighters swept across the country last week, capturing the capital Kabul on Sunday and sending US-backed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the run.

Biden said he had warned Ghani – who was named Afghanistan’s president in a US-negotiated deal – to be prepared to fight a civil war with the Taliban after US forces left. “They failed to do any of that,” he said.

Internationally, the uptake of the Taliban and the chaos of the evacuation effort cast doubt on America’s obligations to its allies.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was “bitter” to see the complete collapse of a war that Germany and other NATO partners had followed the United States into after the 9/11 attacks, which were plotted from Afghanistan. The humiliating scenes certainly seemed to bring comfort to American enemies.

At home, it all sparked sharp criticism, even from members of Biden’s own political party, who called on the White House to do more to rescue Afghan refugees, especially those who had helped the U.S. military in two decades.

“We did not have to watch the scenes that we see at Kabul airport with our Afghan friends climb aboard the C-17s,” the rep said. Jason Crow, a Colorado Democrat and military veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said that was why he and others called for the evacuations to start months ago. “It could have been done deliberately and methodically,” Crow said. “And we think it was a missed opportunity.”

In addition to the life-and-death situation in Kabul, the timing of the crisis was unfortunate for Biden’s domestic efforts at home. It may well weaken his political status as he works to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and build congressional support for a $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and an even greater expansion of the social safety net.

Still, the focus was at home and abroad on Monday at Kabul airports, where thousands of Afghans captured by the sudden takeover of the Taliban hurried across the asphalt and held onto U.S. military planes deployed to fly U.S. embassy staff, which closed Sunday , and other.

At least seven people died in the chaos, including two who clung to the wheels of a C-17 and crashed into the asphalt as it flew away, and two others were shot by U.S. forces. The Americans said the men were armed but that there was no evidence that they were Taliban.

With tens of thousands of American citizens and others as well as Afghans desperate to flee, Biden insisted that the United States had done everything they could to plan.

In fact, Afghan leaders had called on the United States not to make a public effort to evacuate former military translators, women activists and others most vulnerable from the Taliban, saying it could in itself trigger what the Afghans said could be ” a crisis of confidence, “Biden said.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said late Monday that the United States, which had taken charge of air traffic control at Kabul airport, had resumed air lifts after suspending them due to this morning’s onslaught on runways by frightened Afghans.

Kirby said U.S. forces plan to complete their surveillance of the evacuation by August 31, also the date Biden has set for officially ending the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan.

The United States hopes to fly up to 5,000 people a day when once again 6,000 U.S. troops are deployed to secure evacuation and when more transport planes can land, he said.

Biden pledged to work to also evacuate private U.S. citizens and citizens in foreign governments as well as Afghans who previously worked with Americans in the country, journalists, prominent women and other Afghans considered most vulnerable to retaliation from the Taliban.

In July, the United States had a visa application for 18,000 former Afghan workers alone, seeking refuge in the United States and having evacuated only a few thousand in what was supposed to be an accelerated process compared to last month.

Veteran groups and non-profit groups working with Afghan women on Monday appealed to Biden to keep troops at Kabul airport at least at the end of the month to keep the escape route out of Taliban hands.

AP reporters Matthew Lee, Eric Tucker and Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington and Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed to this report.

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