U.S. scrambles to resolve botched Afghan withdrawal


On Tuesday, the Biden administration scrambled to put Afghanistan’s botched evacuation back on track, as it admitted that it needed to change its original plan after a day of chaos and violence at Kabul International Airport.

After the Taliban quickly took control of the country in the face of the faltering Afghan army, in order to demonstrate its ability, the White House stated that it has ensured the security of the airport and will speed up the pace of evacuation in the next few days.

Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, told reporters that the government has always “knowed” the risk of Islamic organizations “eventually controlling Afghanistan”, but admitted that “we did not expect it to be so fast. The speed happened” and it did.

“Yes, there are chaotic scenes[on Monday]but. .. Even well-designed plans cannot survive the first contact with reality. They need to be adjusted, and we have made these adjustments,” Sullivan added.

However, after two years of war, the government insisted on its decision to withdraw troops from the country, fulfilling the promise Biden made during the campaign last year. Biden called for the withdrawal of troops for the first time when he was vice president. The Obama administration.

Sullivan said that the images of people clutching a U.S. military plane when taking off from Kabul Airport and in some cases falling from it were “heartbreaking.” But he added: “President Biden must also consider the human cost of another way, that is, staying in the middle of the internal conflict in Afghanistan.”

Sullivan said that just hours after the Taliban leader successfully addressed a group of Afghan journalists in the country’s capital, US officials are directly discussing with the Taliban to ensure the safety of civilians seeking to enter the airport.

He said the government “received reports that people were “turned out” by the Taliban and “even beaten”. The United States is trying to resolve these issues through secret channels with the Islamic organization. “We are worried about this situation in the next few days. Will it continue to happen,” Sullivan added.

But he insisted that “as far as the current situation is concerned, we find that we are letting people through the gate.”

The Taliban stated that they will not retaliate against government officials or Afghan soldiers. The organization will respect Women’s rights are “within the scope of Islamic law”. The last time the Taliban came to power, they ruled Afghanistan with a cruel interpretation of Islam, which deprived women of their rights to a large extent.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Pentagon stated that by the end of Tuesday, there will be approximately 4,000 soldiers on the ground in Kabul, and a U.S. Air Force C17 aircraft will drop approximately 1,000 additional U.S. soldiers at Hamid Karzai International Airport overnight. Soldier.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the pace of evacuation will now accelerate. 700 to 800 people were evacuated overnight, of which 165 were American citizens, and the rest were Afghan visa holders and people of other nationalities.

He added that the scale of evacuation could reach 5,000 to 9,000 people per day.

Kirby said that the airport has not had hostile interaction with the Taliban, and the airport is still safe. However, as shown in a video widely shared on the Internet, he declined to provide the number of casualties caused by people clinging to the outside of the plane when the American plane took off.

Biden’s senior adviser spoke to the media on Tuesday, and the president is still in the rural resort of Camp David. On Monday, Biden briefly returned to the White House to resolve the ongoing crisis.

“I firmly support my decision,” Biden said. Defensive His government withdrew its troops from Afghanistan. “I learned from the painful lessons that it is never a good time to withdraw troops.”

Biden has faced criticism from the party for the government’s handling of the issue of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The New York Times reported that the US spy agency warned this summer that although Biden and his advisers have repeatedly ensured that the Afghan army has the resources and willingness to fight, it may quickly collapse.

In answering questions about these intelligence reports, Sullivan said: “I am actually not familiar with the intelligence assessments you describe, but I don’t want to get involved in specific intelligence products.”

Senior Democratic congressmen have pledged to hold congressional hearings to investigate why the United States is not better prepared for an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The Democratic Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, said on Tuesday that he was “disappointed” by the government’s lack of understanding of the impact of the rapid U.S. withdrawal. He also accused former President Donald Trump of reaching a “completely inappropriate agreement” with the Taliban.

“We are now witnessing the terrible results of years of policy and intelligence failures,” Menendez said in a statement.

The Democratic Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Jack Reed, also said that he will order a hearing on “what went wrong”, but avoid shirking responsibility.

The Democratic Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, also called on Congress to investigate. He said: “We owe the answers to the American people and all those who served and sacrificed for it.”

Additional report by Stephanie Findlay in New Delhi


Source link