In Afghanistan, the Taliban continue to hold the power – and the government in Kabul is fully powerless against them. The Taliban and Afghan government are at war. How much longer will the United States be able to prop up the Karzai government?
The Taliban have reportedly rejected a peace deal proposed by Afghanistan’s Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, according to reports on Wednesday. The Taliban said they would negotiate with the Afghan government only if the US and Afghan government ceased raids on their strongholds in Helmand and other parts of southern Afghanistan, said the officer who had read the letter. The officer said the message was delivered by a Taliban spokesman to a senior member of the Afghan national security forces who was to carry it to the Afghan president.
Here’s what you should be aware of:
As hundreds gathered outside the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, Afghan security officers attempted to preserve order. Associated Press photo
The Taliban attempted to portray themselves to the world on Tuesday as responsible stewards of Afghanistan, as pressure grew on the Biden administration to do more to evacuate thousands of Afghan friends afraid for their lives.
However, with both the Biden administration and the Taliban offering security, the future for millions of Afghans seemed bleak. While the US troops restored order at Kabul’s international airport on Tuesday, it was uncertain if Afghans would be able to reach there.
Despite promises of safe passage, the Taliban are not only renowned for their violence, but also for their poor management of a huge country that is heavily reliant on international assistance.
The group’s leaders went to Twitter, spoke on foreign cable networks, and scheduled a press conference, all to reassure women that they would not participate in systematic retaliation.
Mullah Yaqoub, the head of the Taliban’s Military Commission, repeated instructions to militants in Kabul not to enter people’s houses or take their belongings on Tuesday. “No one is permitted to enter anyone’s home, especially in Kabul, where we have just recently arrived and the situation is still developing,” he added.
“There is no authority to remove a vehicle, a home, or anything else from someone,” Mr. Yaqoub added.
He did, however, issue a warning, stating that the Taliban would be gathering weapons and government property in a systematic way, and that stealing state property was treasonous.
He said, “If anybody is caught, they will be dealt with.”
Other signs suggest that the Taliban are attempting to transition from rebels to the country’s new legal authorities.
Mullah Baradar, the Taliban’s political office head, arrived in Kandahar, Afghanistan’s southern city, on Tuesday, for the first time in a decade. It was unknown where he came from, although Qatar is home to most of the group’s leadership.
However, there were also worrisome indications that the Taliban’s pledges did not correspond to the reality on the ground.
Taliban militants strewn over the streets of Kabul, the capital, riding motorcycles and driving stolen police cars and Humvees. Armed fighters seized Parliament, and some went to government officials’ houses, seizing their belongings and cars, while others pretended to manage traffic.
Fruit vendors were out on the streets once again, and some stores were open. Special forces commandos, on the other hand, are among those who have fled, many of whom are enraged at having been ordered not to fight while power brokers sought a smooth transfer.
On Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said his agency had received “chilling allegations of grave limitations on human rights” throughout the nation. “I am especially disturbed by reports of increasing human rights abuses against Afghan women and girls,” he said at an emergency Security Council meeting.
Women have been instructed not to go home without a male relative in certain parts of Afghanistan, and girls’ schools have been shuttered.
UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, claimed the Taliban had selected coordinators in different areas of the nation to serve as contact points for humanitarian organizations. On Tuesday, they gathered in Kabul to meet with the new Taliban commissioner.
On Monday, UNICEF officials met with a health commissioner in Herat, who claimed he had asked that female health department workers return to work.
However, the agency received conflicting signals about females’ education: Local Taliban officials in some regions claimed they were waiting for instructions from their superiors, but in others, they said they intended to open schools for both girls and boys.
Mustapha Ben Messaoud, UNICEF’s head of operations in Kabul, stated through video connection, “We are cautiously hopeful about going forward.”
The Taliban now control not just security but also essential services in Afghanistan, which is already suffering from a drought that has put a third of the country’s 38 million inhabitants in risk of becoming hungry.
While there have been no verified reports of mass retaliation murders, many residents have sought refuge in their houses, terrified of rebels who have opened the doors of the country’s jails and seized weapons stores in their drive throughout the country.
In order to bring people back to work, the Taliban announced a “wide amnesty” for all government employees on Tuesday, stating that they may return to their positions with “full confidence.”
However, the message was cryptic, and memories of Taliban control are still fresh.
Najibullah, Afghanistan’s last Communist president, was castrated, shot, and ultimately hanged in 1996 as part of the group’s takeover of Kabul.
They gained a reputation for violence, stoning individuals at a soccer stadium and forcing men to pray five times a day under the fear of the lash. The use of television, videos, and music was prohibited.
Women suffered disproportionately, with girls’ education being prohibited and women being generally excluded from public life. According to USAID, there were only around 900,000 pupils in 2001, and none of them were females. Before the Taliban’s recent takeover, that number had risen to 9.5 million pupils in the nation, with females accounting for 39% of the total.
Despite this, ToloNews, one of Afghanistan’s main media channels, showed female anchors onscreen for the first time since the Taliban took control on Tuesday.
For the last week, the Taliban have used the fear of terrorism to force public employees to return to work in certain areas under their control.
Store owners were busily painting over pictures of women even before the Taliban issued any formal edicts, hotels stopped playing music, and many Afghans are hiding in their houses, terrified of what they may discover on the street.
And tens of thousands of people were still trying to find a way out.
On Sunday, Afghans were flown from Kabul to Qatar by a US Air Force aircraft. U.S. Air Force photo courtesy of Reuters
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Pentagon said on Tuesday that evacuation efforts at Hamid Karzai International Airport were speeding up, with more American soldiers arriving and hundreds of people departing.
According to Maj. Gen. William Taylor of the military’s Joint Staff, nine Air Force C-17 cargo aircraft brought in 1,000 soldiers overnight, with the anticipation that more than 4,000 troops would be at the airport by the end of the day.
General Taylor stated that seven C-17s departed Kabul overnight carrying approximately 700 Americans, residents of other nations, and Afghans who had aided the American combat effort, as well as their family members. Since the operation started, around 1,400 individuals have been evacuated, he added.
The Pentagon’s aim for the next day or two is to conduct up to one flight every hour, a day after huge crowds poured onto the airport, delaying planes for hours. Weather and security circumstances allowing, officials aim to carry between 5,000 and 9,000 people each day.
The Pentagon’s spokesman, John F. Kirby, told reporters, “We’ll do as much as we can, as long as we can.”
According to General Taylor, the Taliban have not assaulted or otherwise interfered with the airport evacuation thus far. On Monday, the Pentagon issued a warning to the Taliban that any hostile action will be met with a quick and strong military reaction.
Mr. Kirby said that American commanders at the airport were in contact with Taliban leaders outside the airport, but he declined to elaborate.
Military authorities dodged concerns about how the US government would provide safe passage to the airport for the thousands of Americans still thought to be in Kabul, as well as the tens of thousands of Afghans the Biden administration has pledged to airlift to safety in the US or third nations.
Mr. Kirby said that the White House had set a deadline of Aug. 31 to complete the mammoth task of removing tens of thousands of people from the nation. He refused to say what would happen if the mission was not completed by the deadline.
However, most Afghan citizens have little chance of avoiding the resurgence of an Islamist terrorist organization that once terrorized and brutalized the country.
Taliban militants stormed Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, on Sunday, completing a spectacular march across the nation in the last days of the US military operation in the country.
Thousands of Afghans descended to Kabul’s airport on Monday, rushing the boarding gates, crowding the runways, climbing on jet wings, and even attempting to cling to the fuselages of leaving US military aircraft.
At least six Afghans were murdered in the ensuing pandemonium, with several falling from the sky as they lost control and at least two being shot by American troops attempting to control the throng.
The pictures recalled America’s hasty exit from Vietnam, capturing Afghanistan’s stunning collapse in the aftermath of the US withdrawal.
On Tuesday, I was in Kabul. The Afghani currency has dropped to a new low against the US dollar. Credit… Getty Images/Hoshang Hashimi/Agence France-Presse
“It didn’t have to end this way,” Ajmal Ahmady, the interim governor of Afghanistan’s central bank, wrote on Twitter this week as he left the country, describing the turmoil in Kabul.
Mr. Ahmady detailed how the central bank responded to turbulence in Afghanistan’s currency market late last week amid the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country in a series of posts published on Monday, as well as his disappointment that the country’s leadership was fleeing without any sort of transition plan.
He said that top individuals in President Ashraf Ghani’s administration lacked expertise, and that it was Mr. Ghani’s “fault that he never identified such shortcomings.”
Mr. Ahmady described the government’s demise as “disorienting and difficult to understand” since it happened “so quickly and completely.”
According to Bloomberg statistics, the Afghan currency, the afghani, fell more than 6% on Tuesday to a record low of 86 to the US dollar.
In June 2020, Mr. Ahmady was named acting governor of the central bank. He formerly held positions as a senior advisor to the president for banking and financial issues, as well as other governmental roles. Mr. Ahmady attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and Harvard Business School in the United States.
In December, Afghan legislators rejected naming Mr. Ahmady the permanent central bank head, citing factors such as his lack of proficiency in the country’s main languages, according to Bloomberg.
Mr. Ahmady focused on price stability, banking sector development, and payment digitization as a temporary caretaker of the economy. The IMF predicted that the Afghan economy, which is largely reliant on foreign assistance, would grow by 4% this year after contracting in 2020, but cautioned in June that the country was facing “formidable difficulties” because to the epidemic and “precarious security situation.”
He added that before the Afghan government collapsed, “currency volatility and other indicators had worsened,” but that the central bank had been able to manage the economy “relatively well.”
“And then there was last Thursday.”
Mr. Ahmady recounted how he had gone to his regular meetings that morning, but when he came home, key towns like as Ghazni and Herat had fallen under Taliban control. He claimed he got a call on Friday stating the central bank would not be receiving any more shipments of US dollars, and on Saturday, the bank provided less money to the markets, which he said “further exacerbated fear.”
Mr. Ahmady stated, “On Saturday, I conducted talks to reassure banks and money exchangers to calm them down.” “It’s hard to imagine it was just one day before Kabul fell.”
He claimed he booked tickets to depart the country on Monday “as a precaution” on Saturday night. He left the central bank on Sunday, however, and proceeded to the airport, where he met Afghan leaders.
He added, “I got a Kam Air flight Sunday 7pm,” referring to a Kabul-based international carrier. “Then the President departed, and the floor fell.”
As news of Mr. Ghani’s departure spread, civil workers and the military quickly abandoned their posts, and hundreds of civilians rushed to catch an outgoing aircraft. “The aircraft was without gasoline and a pilot. He remarked, “We all prayed it would go.”
He then exited from the jet, and in the midst of the stampede, he found himself aboard a military plane. Mr. Ahmady made no mention of who owned the aircraft or where it was flying.
He wrote, “It didn’t have to end this way.” “I am appalled by the Afghan leadership’s lack of preparation. They left without telling anyone, as I saw at the airport. I inquired at the palace about an evacuation strategy or charter planes. I was greeted with silence after 7 years of service.”
On Tolo News on Tuesday, Beheshta Arghand interviewed a member of the Taliban’s propaganda team, who told the female presenter, “I am still surprised that people are scared of Taliban.” Tolo News is the source of this information.
Girls and women in Afghanistan have joined the military and police forces, held political office, participated in the Olympics, and climbed the heights of engineering on robotics teams in the two decades since the US invasion overthrew the Taliban – activities that were previously unthinkable under the Taliban. In addition, the US spent more than $780 million to promote women’s rights.
A key issue now is whether the Taliban would continue to trample on women’s rights with the same zeal with which they conquered the nation.
In recent days, the Taliban have attempted to project a more moderate image to the rest of the world in order to alleviate the dread that has gripped Afghanistan. They’ve even pushed women to go back to work and participate in politics.
Many women, however, have stayed at home, fearful of falling afoul of local Taliban authorities. In recent days, people in Kabul have started ripping down billboards depicting women without head coverings. Women have been instructed not to go home without a male relative in certain parts of Afghanistan, and girls’ schools have been shuttered.
In 2008, then-President George W. Bush met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul. Credit… The New York Times’ Lynsey Addario
President George W. Bush, who led the US-led assault that ousted the Taliban from power in Afghanistan in 2001, expressed “great sorrow” over the group’s takeover and defended his choice to start what would become America’s longest war this week.
In a statement published on Monday, the former president and his wife, Laura Bush, wrote: “Our hearts are heavy for both the Afghan people who have endured so much and for the Americans and NATO friends who have given so much.”
When the Sept. 11 attacks led Mr. Bush to send forces to Afghanistan to take out the Taliban regime that had harbored terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, he was in his first year in office and had no expertise in international affairs.
Mr. Bush then shifted his attention to invading Iraq, an expensive military operation that would come to define his administration, leaving the Afghanistan mission to linger on with ill-defined objectives and little supervision.
Mr. Bush sent a message to U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan, including many who served several deployments, in which he argued that he had not sent them to war in vain.
“While constructing schools, delivering supplies, and giving medical treatment, you wiped out a terrible adversary and denied Al Qaeda a safe haven,” he added. “You saved America from further terrorist assaults, gave millions of people protection and opportunity, and made America proud.”
Many of the achievements made possible by the United States’ two-decade military effort in Afghanistan — greater chances for women, more children in school, a more free press environment — may be jeopardized under the Taliban.
When it controlled Afghanistan in the 1990s, the hard-line Islamist organization outlawed popular music and carried out public executions, and as an insurgent movement, it was renowned for suicide bombings that murdered thousands of civilians and ethnic and religious minorities.
Mr. Bush urged the Biden administration to accept more Afghan refugees and expedite the process of removing Afghans and Americans who are under danger from the Taliban. He asked the US administration to “simplify the process.”
He said, “We have the duty and the means to ensure safe passage for them right now, without bureaucratic delay.”
On Tuesday, Indian citizens boarded an Indian military plane at Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan. Getty Images/Agence France-Presse/…-/Agence France-Presse
India’s government said on Tuesday that it will prioritize bringing Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan into the country, drawing parallels to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s controversial 2019 citizenship legislation, which discriminates against Muslims.
The country’s home ministry said that “emergency visas” will be introduced to enable Afghans to remain in India for six months. It didn’t specify whether Muslims, who make up the bulk of people wanting to flee Afghanistan as the Taliban gain power, would be examined as well.
S. Jaishankar, India’s foreign affairs minister, stated on Twitter, “We are in continuous contact with the Sikh and Hindu community leaders in Kabul.” “Their well-being will be our first priority.”
This difference drew criticism from certain quarters.
On Twitter, opposition lawmaker Kavita Krishnan stated, “I’m ashamed that the government of India’s reaction today is to look at desperate Afghan migrants not as people escaping persecution and certain death, but from the perspective of whether or not they’re Muslim.”
India also came under fire when a large number of seats on an Air Force aircraft carrying Indian nationals and officials from the country’s mission in Kabul were left vacant on Tuesday.
New Delhi officials have said that the nation would “stand by” the Afghans who assisted the Indian government and mission in Afghanistan. It’s unclear if their religious beliefs would play a role in the decision-making process.
A request for response from the ministry of foreign affairs was not immediately returned.
In the past, India has given longer-term visas to Afghans escaping persecution, regardless of their faith. When the Taliban took over Afghanistan almost two decades ago, many Afghans fled to India. Some have relocated in New Delhi, where a retail area known as “Little Kabul” comes alive with vendors offering local cuisine every evening.
Pakistan, India’s archrival, has allowed Taliban commanders unrestricted mobility, according to US and Afghan officials, and the nation continues to act as a safe haven for combatants and their families.
Experts believe India is treading carefully in its dealings with Afghanistan’s new authorities. As part of the US-led negotiations in Doha, Qatar, Indian officials recently attempted to interact with the Taliban.
Some Indians have encouraged their government to engage the Taliban directly. Last week, Vivek Katju, a former Indian ambassador to Afghanistan, told The Wire that India had become a “bystander” in Afghanistan and that the country’s authorities didn’t know “which direction to turn.”
In a telephone interview with The New York Times on Tuesday, Mr. Katju added, “Engagement with the Taliban should happen.” “The interaction should be structured in such a way that it is open and direct.”
Pakistan’s government, for its part, has refrained from applauding the Taliban’s control of Afghanistan.
“When you embrace someone’s culture, you think it is better, and you end up being a slave to it,” Prime Minister Imran Khan remarked on Monday, referring to the US and Western society. “They have removed the shackles of slavery in Afghanistan,” Mr. Khan remarked at a visit in Islamabad, “but the enslavement of the mind does not.”
On Saturday, a painting honoring Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was unveiled at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, a day before he left the country. Credit… Associated Press/Rahmat Gul
Technocrat from the West. Attempting to be populist. President of the United States during WWII. During his time as Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani attempted to play a variety of roles.
Mr. Ghani, however, is stepping into a far less welcome role after fleeing the Taliban’s advance into Kabul this weekend: that of a failed leader whose hasty exit from Kabul scuttled negotiations to ensure a smooth transition of power to the Taliban and left his own people to deal with the deadly chaos and terrifying uncertainty under the country’s once and future rulers.
Mr. Ghani’s current whereabouts and future plans are unknown. Close aides were unable to be contacted by phone, and some stories claimed he had fled to neighboring Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, or perhaps Oman. There were reports that he was accompanied by as many as 200 aides, ministers, and members of Parliament, and that Saudi Arabia had agreed to grant him refuge.
There were also rumors that Mr. Ghani had left with large sums of money, prompting speculation about whether the US had played a role in his defection.
It was a humiliating turn for Mr. Ghani, a World Bank-trained technocrat with a PhD from Columbia University and a book titled “Fixing Failed States,” as he often reminds people.
Instead of mending Afghanistan during his almost seven years in office, Mr. Ghani exited the country in much the same manner he governed: isolated from all but a handful of advisors who are believed to have left with him.
Thousands of Afghans rushed Kabul’s international airport — the city’s last link to the outside world — on Monday, trying to find a way out as little semblance of civil authority that was left in Kabul melted away. Unlike Mr. Ghani, the majority of them had little hope of escaping, and many individuals died as a result of the pandemonium.
In a late Sunday social media post, Mr. Ghani, 72, justified his choice to go, saying, “If I had remained, thousands of my people would have been killed, and Kabul would have faced devastation.”
Others saw his departure as a desperate effort of self-preservation by a man whose failings opened the path for the Taliban’s return almost 20 years to the month after the American-led war that led to their expulsion in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
“He will be remembered as Afghanistan’s Benedict Arnold,” said Saad Mohseni, the owner of Tolo TV, one of the country’s most prominent television stations. “For another 100 years, people will spit on his grave.”
Mr. Mohseni was part of a last-ditch attempt to rescue Kabul from a Taliban takeover that would have been ugly and deadly, negotiating an interim agreement with former President Hamid Karzai and others that would allow the Taliban a week or two to take control of Afghanistan’s government.
When news got out that Mr. Ghani had left, the attempt failed, and the Taliban poured into Kabul in force. Some were even seen sitting at the same desk where Mr. Ghani had attempted to mobilize his failing troops to fight the Taliban just days before.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has been in touch with a number of foreign colleagues to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. Credit… Patrick Semansky took this picture of the pool.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken is making a rush of phone calls to his international colleagues, ostensibly to justify the US military departure from Afghanistan, which has thrown the country back into turmoil.
On Monday, Mr. Blinken addressed foreign ministers from the United Kingdom, China, India, Pakistan, Russia, and Turkey in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, which threatens to undermine the United States’ 20-year involvement in the country and may empower regional adversaries.
The State Department provided little specifics about Mr. Blinken’s conversation with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, other than to say that the two spoke about security in Afghanistan and their attempts to bring their people to safety.
The Chinese leadership, on the other hand, used the occasion to attack the US. Mr. Yi warned Mr. Blinken that the fast US departure had a “severe negative effect” on Afghanistan, according to the country’s foreign ministry. According to the statement, Mr. Yi also repeated a common Chinese official talking point, claiming that adopting foreign models to nations with distinct histories and cultural circumstances does not work.
The situation in Afghanistan has caused worry in China about the region’s volatility. China has a short, remote border with Afghanistan, which served as a sanctuary for Uyghur radicals from Xinjiang, China’s far western province, under the Taliban’s rule.
Some saw the collapse of the US-backed administration in Kabul as a symbol of American weakness, and welcomed it. The Global Times, a tabloid owned by the governing Communist Party, issued a scathing editorial on Monday claiming that the Taliban’s rapid rise had gravely harmed American confidence.
It was argued that Washington’s abandoning of Kabul should serve as a message to Taiwan, a democratic island backed by the US but considered a renegade country by China.
Mr. Blinken also talked with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei V. Lavrov, according to the State Department. According to Tass, Russia’s official news agency, the two addressed the security situation in Afghanistan, as well as the country’s humanitarian problems and Moscow’s wish for law and order to prevail.
The breakdown of Afghanistan’s democratically elected government, according to some opponents of the US departure, is especially worrisome as Beijing and Moscow attempt to impose their influence across the globe.
President Biden claimed in a national speech on Monday that the US mission in Afghanistan was over and that nation-building was not the original objective.
“Our real strategic rivals, China and Russia, would love nothing more than for the US to continue to pour billions of dollars into Afghanistan’s stabilization indefinitely,” he added.
Mr. Blinken also talked with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, according to the State Department. Pakistan has long been a safe haven for the Taliban.
While some former Pakistani military leaders have praised the Taliban’s success, a collapse in Afghanistan poses dangers to Pakistan, including the possibility of a refugee inflow. It may also give terrorist groups targeting Pakistan’s government a boost.
In May, an Afghan Air Force chopper touched down in Helmand Province. Aircraft were formerly the crown jewels of the US military assistance program to Afghanistan. Credit… The New York Times’ Jim Huylebroek
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – Tajikistan is a country in Central Asia. The Afghan Air Force, which is backed by the United States, took to the skies for one last trip from Sunday to Monday, not to fight the Taliban as it had done so many times before, but to rescue some of its aircraft and pilots from capture as the militants seized control of Afghanistan.
At least six military planes have taken off from the nation in search of safety in former Soviet republics to the north. Tajik officials confirmed that five people had arrived in the country. In Uzbekistan, one aircraft was shot down, but its two pilots were said to have parachuted out and escaped.
The withdrawal of some of the Afghan Air Force’s aircraft, which were formerly prized possessions of the US assistance program for the Afghan military, kept them and their crews out of Taliban hands.
It also contributed to the turmoil in and around Afghanistan’s sky. Hundreds of passenger aircraft took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport, flying to neighboring Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, both of which have significant cultural connections to Afghanistan. According to Tolo News, an Afghan news agency, 46 planes had left by Monday morning, transporting asylum applicants, many of whom were airport workers.
The Uzbek military announced that it had shot down an aircraft that had entered the country’s airspace without authorization. According to Paul Hayes, head of Ascend, a U.K.-based aviation safety consultant, photographs of the debris indicated that it was a Super Tucano, a turboprop light attack aircraft manufactured by the Brazilian firm Embraer and supplied by the United States to Afghanistan.
Videos circulated in Uzbek news outlets showing a pilot in a green flight suit laying on the ground and getting medical attention.
After sending distress signals, three Afghan military aircraft and two military helicopters carrying 143 soldiers and airmen were permitted to land in Tajikistan, according to the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
“Tajikistan received an SOS signal, and as a result, the government decided to allow landings in line with international obligations,” a ministry official told Interfax.
It was unknown what would happen to the aircraft that was currently parked in Tajikistan. Afghan pilots were particularly despised by the Taliban and faced murder.
The shoot-down in Uzbekistan, as well as Tajik authorities’ emphasis on their neutrality in permitting landings, mirrored the tough reaction that Central Asian countries have had to fleeing Afghan troops, fearful of antagonizing the Taliban.
Last Monday, Uzbekistan permitted 84 troops to cross a bridge to safety, but many more were left behind. In June and July, Tajikistan permitted fleeing troops to enter the country, but almost all of them were deported back to Afghanistan.
Whoever is in control in Afghanistan, according to an Uzbek think group close to the government, what counts is stability and economic growth.
In a telephone interview, Daniel Kiselyov, the editor of Fergana, a Russian-language news site focusing on Central Asia, stated, “They say, ‘We are ready to embrace any centralized force that might assist Afghanistan.” “They are ready to cooperate with the Taliban if the Taliban offer that.”
Despite the suspension of civilian flights, groups of people gathered at Kabul’s international airport on Monday, trying to escape Afghanistan. Credit… Getty Images/Wakil Kohsar/Agence France-Presse
President Biden’s unabashed defense of his choices in Afghanistan on Monday won over some Democrats, but the president continues to face furious and more public criticism from legislators from both parties over the turmoil falling on Kabul.
Following the address, several Democratic leaders expressed hesitant support after leaving the White House virtually undefended.
Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, a member of the Democratic leadership, stated, “President Biden knows history when it comes to Afghanistan.” “He took the tough choice not to pass over the longest of American conflicts to a fifth president, and if he had walked away from the pullout deal reached by President Trump, Taliban assaults on US forces would have resumed, necessitating yet another increase in US troops.”
Other legislators, on the other hand, were not investigated. Many moderate Democrats were enraged by the Biden administration’s poor preparation for the evacuation of Americans and their friends. Liberal Democrats, who have long advocated for the end of military operations throughout the globe, complained that pictures from Kabul were hurting their case.
Republicans who had backed former President Donald J. Trump’s even more aggressive timeline for ending the country’s longest conflict have now thrown their support behind Mr. Biden, accusing him of embarrassing the country.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, stated, “America’s two-decade engagement in Afghanistan has had many authors.” “Along the road, there have been strategic blunders. But, as the massive collapse anticipated by our own analysts occurs in Kabul today, the onus is entirely on the shoulders of our present commander in chief.”
If Mr. Biden anticipated the bipartisan agreement on Afghanistan exit to shield him from criticism, he will be disappointed – at least for the time being.
Representative Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado and a former Army Ranger who fought in Afghanistan, stated, “We didn’t need to be in this situation; we didn’t need to be witnessing these images at Kabul airport with our Afghan buddies mounting a C-17.” “This evacuation should have begun months ago.”
Representative Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Massachusetts and a former Marine Corps captain, said he had been requesting a refugee strategy from the administration for months. “I was quite clear: ‘We need a strategy.’ He replied, “We need someone in control.” “To be honest, we haven’t seen the plan yet.”
“They had weeks of potential in front of them. Mr. Moulton, who is a member of the Armed Services Committee, added, “They had an incredible combination of liberal and conservative legislators who were ready to back the administration in this endeavor.” “In my opinion, this was not just a national security, but also a political error.”
Jonathan Weisman also contributed to the story.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- taliban and afghanistan news: live updates today
- taliban and afghanistan news: live updates youtube
- taliban and afghanistan news: live updates live
- taliban and afghanistan news: live updates 2017
- taliban and afghanistan news: live updates update