WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and other top U.S. officials were stunned on Sunday by the pace of the Taliban’s nearly complete takeover of Afghanistan, as the planned withdrawal of American forces urgently became a mission to ensure a safe evacuation.
The speed of the Afghan government’s collapse and the ensuing chaos posed the most serious test of Biden as commander in chief, and he was the subject of withering criticism from Republicans who said that he had failed.
Biden campaigned as a seasoned expert in international relations and has spent months downplaying the prospect of an ascendant Taliban while arguing that Americans of all political persuasions have tired of a 20-year war, a conflict that demonstrated the limits of money and military might to force a Western-style democracy on a society not ready or willing to embrace it.
Previous Story: Biden last month — Taliban takeover ‘highly unlikely’ … it’s happening
By Sunday, though, leading figures in the administration acknowledged they were caught off guard with the utter speed of the collapse of Afghan security forces. The challenge of that effort became clear after reports of sporadic gunfire at the Kabul airport prompted Americans to shelter as they awaited flights to safety.
“We’ve seen that that force has been unable to defend the country, and that has happened more quickly than we anticipated,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN, referring to the Afghan military.
Related Story: ‘Biden has to own this’ – Former commander of US forces in Afghanistan David Patraeus says withdrawal is ‘catastrophic for the US’
The turmoil in Afghanistan resets the focus in an unwelcome way for a president who has largely focused on a domestic agenda that includes emerging from the pandemic, winning congressional approval for trillions of dollars in infrastructure spending and protecting voting rights.
The President is on vacation while American credibility burns and a fresh terrorist safe haven is born. But ok let’s “commend him.” https://t.co/fsouFV2Hrg
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) August 15, 2021
Biden remained at Camp David on Sunday, receiving regular briefings on Afghanistan and holding secure video conference calls with members of his national security team, according to senior White House officials. The next several days could be critical in determining whether the U.S. is able to regain some level of control over the situation.
Related Story: President Biden will own the fall of Kabul — when the real killing begins
Discussions were underway for Biden to speak publicly, according to two senior administration officials who requested anonymity to discuss internal conversations. Biden, who is scheduled to remain at Camp David through Wednesday, is expected to return to the White House if he decides to deliver an address.
This morning, the President and Vice President met with their national security team and senior officials to hear updates on the draw down of our civilian personnel in Afghanistan, evacuations of SIV applicants and other Afghan allies, and the ongoing security situation in Kabul. pic.twitter.com/U7IpK3Hyj8
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 15, 2021
Biden is the fourth U.S. president to confront challenges in Afghanistan and has insisted he wouldn’t hand America’s longest war to his successor. But the president will likely have to explain how security in Afghanistan unraveled so quickly, especially since he and others in the administration have insisted it wouldn’t happen.
“The jury is still out, but the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely,” Biden said on July 8.
As recently as last week, Biden publicly expressed hope that Afghan forces could develop the will to defend their country. But privately, administration officials warned that the military was crumbling, prompting Biden on Thursday to order thousands of American troops into the region to speed up evacuation plans.
One official said Biden was more sanguine on projections for the Afghan fighters to hold off the Taliban in part to prevent a further erosion in morale among their force. It was ultimately for naught.
Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump also yearned to leave Afghanistan, but ultimately stood down in the face of resistance from military leaders and other political concerns. Biden, on the other hand, has been steadfast in his refusal to change the Aug. 31 deadline, in part because of his belief that the American public is on his side.
A late July ABC News/Ipsos poll, for instance, showed 55% of Americans approving of Biden’s handling of the troop withdrawal.
Most Republicans have not pushed Biden to keep troops in Afghanistan over the long term and they also supported Trump’s own push to exit the country. Still, some in the GOP are stepping up their critique of Biden’s withdrawal strategy and said images from Sunday of American helicopters circling the U.S. Embassy in Kabul evoked the humiliating departure of U.S. personnel from Vietnam.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell deemed the scenes of withdrawal as “the embarrassment of a superpower laid low.”
Related Story: Antony Blinken rejects comparison of Afghanistan to Saigon and blames ‘inability of Afghan security forces’ for Taliban takeover as Republicans say the buck stops with Biden
Meanwhile, U.S. officials are increasingly concerned about the potential for the rise in terrorist threats against the U.S. as the situation in Afghanistan devolves, according to a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss a sensitive security matter.
Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told senators on a briefing call Sunday that U.S. officials are expected to alter their earlier assessments about the pace of terrorist groups reconstituting in Afghanistan, the person said. Based on the evolving situation, officials believe terror groups like al-Qaida may be able to grow much faster than expected.
The officials on the call told senators that the U.S. intelligence community is currently working on forming a new timeline based on the evolving threats.
Still, there were no additional steps planned beyond the troop deployment Biden ordered to assist in the evacuations. Senior administration officials believe the U.S. will be able to maintain security at the Kabul airport long enough to extricate Americans and their allies, but the fate of those unable to get to the airport was far from certain.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who has backed the Biden administration’s strategy, said in an interview that “the speed is a surprise” but would not characterize the situation as an intelligence failure. He said it has long been known that Afghanistan would fall to the Taliban if the United States pulled out.
“Given how much we have invested in the Afghan army, it’s not ridiculous for analysts to believe that they’d be able to put up a fight for more than a few days,” Murphy said. “You want to believe that trillions of dollars and 20 years of investment adds up to something, even if it doesn’t add up for the ability to defend the country in the long run.”
In the upper ranks of Biden’s staff, the rapid collapse in Afghanistan only confirmed the decision to leave: If the meltdown of the Afghan forces would come so quickly after nearly two decades of American presence, another six months or a year or two or more would not have changed anything.
Biden has argued for more than a decade that Afghanistan was a kind of purgatory for the United States. He found it to be corrupt, addicted to America’s largesse and an unreliable partner that should be made to fend for itself. His goal was to protect Americans from terrorist attacks, not building a country.
As vice president, he argued privately against Obama’s surge of 30,000 troops into Afghanistan in a bid to stabilize the country so that the United States and its allies could then pull back their forces.
As president, Biden said in July that he made the decision to withdraw with “clear eyes” after receiving daily battlefield updates. His judgment was that Afghanistan would be divided in a peace agreement with the Taliban, rather than falling all at once.
Weasel: ‘I Inherited a Deal Cut By My Predecessor’: Biden Issues Statement on Afghanistan, as Taliban Control Spreads
“There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan,” he said in July. “The likelihood there’s going to be one unified government in Afghanistan controlling the whole country is highly unlikely.”
Associated Press writers Michael Balsamo and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.
© 2021 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.
The demented, puppet President Joe Biden and other top U.S. Democrat officials were stunned on Sunday by the pace of the Taliban’s nearly complete takeover of Afghanistan.
Hummm…… We left all our military weapons, vehicles, artillery and ammunitions for the Taliban because the demented, puppet President Joe Biden and other top U.S. Democrat officials said it would be to expensive to bring them home. So not only did the U.S. buy and transport our weapons to Afghanistan, we left then in Afghanistan…….. Who knew that the Taliban would take them and use them against the government??????? 🙁 🙁 🙁
It’s almost like the democrats WANT more terrorist attacks! How stupid are the democrats??? seriously, can anyone be that stupid?? I would have never believed it until Joe Biden was carted into the White House..
Biden and company shut down OUR pipeline forcing us to BEG whose who hate us with a raging flame to “please” sell us more oil. This means WE will be funding worldwide terrorism for years to come every time we fill our gas tanks.
Biden is a communist.
Biden is a terrorist sympathizer.
Biden is totally evil.
That’s something i’ve been bugging over, for YEARS. Why is it we ALWAYS LEAVE all the vehicles, tech, ammo/guns and such behind? IS IT THAT bloody hard to stick it on the SAME PLANES bringing our troops home?!
AND IF IT IS< why the hell then, DON'T WE BLOW that fit, the hell up before we depart! OR better yet, TRAP IT, so when the taliban tries to claim it, it BLOWS THEM UP right along with the gear!!!!
Political & military leaders keep saying we can’t keep fighting 20 year wars.
Well, no, but they don’t explain why they bother to call it a war when US govt & military leaders since WW2 have been unwilling to use our superior & overwhelming armed forces to kill &/or decimate enemies who declare war on us.
Since this is a disgraceful surrender to an inferior enemy force, why are we leaving our millions $ of military weapons & equipment behind for the enemy to use against us.
Should at least be using drones to bomb / destroy any equipment & planes we don’t get out of there.
AND how disgraceful is it, THAT IN 20 years, we can’t defeat a military, that is LESS SOPHISTICATED AND EQUIPPED than the germans, WHEN WE TOOK WHAT< 4 years to BEAT THEIR BUTTS!??
More and more, i think we should have just GLASSED THE ENTIRE bloody country into oblivion!
Leaving it all behind gives the vendors of arms the opportunity to sell all those needed replacements to Uncle Sugar, plus if the replacements are the newest and best, more money can be charged and the Pentagon will happily pay what is asked. Rinse and repeat.
At how much WASTE OF TAX VICTIM Dollars!!!
The picture plainly shows a 50-50 AK/AR split. I saw another article showing people clinging to a US transport, later to fall to their deaths, and I am reminded of another abandonment in Saigon. You can not blame the dead, but to those live voters who actually cast votes for him, this is what you wanted.
That makes me wonder, ALL THOSE VETS who are still alive FROM nam, what exactly are THEY TINKING about all of this…! AND HOW MANY OF THEM Voted for biden “because they hated how mean trump was”?
I am a Vietnam Vet and every Vet I know is a Trump follower. We have no use for a brain dead little piss ant like biden.
As the Saying Goes, ” It isn’t The Dog In The Fight, Its The Fight In The Dog . ” that Counts And Since The Marxist democrat Government of America With ” Surrender Monkey, Joe Biden and their ilk, They Couldn’t wait to Turn Tail and flee .
Isn’t that like pinching a water balloon and being surprised that you’re wet?
To get people out of there Biden should deputize coyotes from US southern border.
“President Joe Biden and other top U.S. officials were stunned on Sunday by the pace of the Taliban’s nearly complete takeover of Afghanistan”.
“The speed of the Afghan government’s collapse and the ensuing chaos posed the most serious test of Biden as commander in chief, and he was the subject of withering criticism from Republicans who said that he had failed.”
And fail he did. Looking back on this administration’s legacy in the future, failure will be the operative term. In every aspect, both domestic and foreign, it can be safely characterized as inept, incompetent, and a dismal failure—and we’re only six months in.
What in the hell was the disconnect here? Are our intelligence sources that flawed? Was Biden not getting accurate information or was he just downplaying everything? Should we have been there in the first place, even? Certainly not for 20 years if it was going to end up in a departure like this.
“There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan,” he said in July. “The likelihood there’s going to be one unified government in Afghanistan controlling the whole country is highly unlikely.” Guess again, Joe.
Fail? I Actually believe ALL IS GOING ACCORDING to the traitorours bidens PLAN..
NOTE, they mentioned “In our discussions with the local governments, in afgan they said we dare not evacuate all the staff/translators, LEST IT be given as a sign of ‘no confidence in our leadership, YET THEY THEMSELVES GOT the hell out fo dodge….
WHICH TO ME IS An even bigger sign of no leadership.
T his Leftist President Joe Biden adaministration Is like The Smoking Gun and a Dead Body then saying Gee, I did n’t know That The Gun Was Loaded, who would Have Thought It that The Gun would Go Off And Kill Some Body.
“Operation Tali-Biden. … . MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!”
Just one more example of how the Biden administration is a total disaster in both foreign and domestic matters. The invasion of illegals on our southern border will bankrupt our country unless it’s stopped, and this administration seems to think allowing all these people to come into the United States is good for this country. And we had 80 million people vote for these people? Talk about screwed up!
A total disaster is a HUGE understatement of the worst administration in the history of the US. Jimmy Carter should be feeling pretty special since Sleepy Creepy 100% wrong Joe was PUT into the white House.
ASSUMING WE even BELIEVE He got 80 million votes..
That is what I wrote “Joe was PUT into the white house” He most definitely did NOT get that many legal votes. People of the US are NOT that stupid. Well, some are, but certainly not the majority of legal voters dead and multiple votes don’t count.
Based on how many STILL SAY HE IS doing great in poll after poll, there certainly SEEMS like our nation has that many stupid folks..
The ones they poll who think he is doing a good job must be the dead ones who voted for him.
It will be more than 80 million, once these invaders get to vote.
Hell, how SWIFTLY WILL they all be given welfare, SSDI, WIC, EBT and all the rest of the entitlement programs!
Joe Biden and His ” Fellow Travelers, are ” Anti-American And like The Infamous George Soros Belive That, ” America Is too Big For Its Pants and Needs To Be brought Down A Peg or Two. ” Mission Accomplished America Pulled out And left.
I see the MSM & various political mouthpieces from Dem Party have been trotted out to do the propaganda, explaining & excuses for the President, which makes sense since everyone knows Biden is just a senile frontman that the Dem Party dictatorship will kick to the curb once they achieve permanent control over US citizens & economy.
As expected they rush to try to blame Trump who would never in a million years have allowed Taliban terrorists to just march in without any resistance & in 2 weeks takeover all Afghan cities & finally capitol Kabul & our $700 million embassy.
US govt now claim they have always known Afghan govt has always been corrupt & pocketed the millions $ US gave them & that Taliban would takeover when US was gone.
If so, why in hell didn’t they tell US citizens so years ago & stop wasting US life & limb & $2 Trillion of taxpayer funds?
Fact is Trump is only one of US govt, Intel & military leaders who wasn’t just as cowardly, corrupt & self serving as every US admin since 2001 now say they knew the Afghan govt was.
That’s something i often wonder about.
WE KEEP SEEING IT, year after year, decade after decade, NEW NATION AFTER NATION that we ‘help’ rebuild/help out of troubles, that those in POWER, keep pocketing all the bloody aid we send them, “EXPECTING a different result than the prior nation gave us”.. WHICH TO ME IS THE BLOODY HEIGHT OF INSANITY….
another black eye for america not finishing the job because of politics.
eventually no one will trust us.
Does anyone still trust the American Government? I sure don’t – NOTHING!!!
And One wonders, WHY OUr so-called “bestest military in the world’, can NEVER FINISH OFF a job, no matter how long we are there (such as 4 yrs for korea, 13+ for nam, and now 20 for iraq/afgan), WE CANNOT FORCE THEM TO surrender, like we did in FOUR YEARS for Japan and Germany?? What exactly transpired in the US, both civilly and politically, TO WHERE OUR MILITARY ARE NO Longer allowed to go the hell in and just WIPE THE DAMN ENEMY OUT???
Exactly when did our military change from “DESTROY THE ENEMY”, to “you have to coddle them, you can’t use tactics that will make them mad. You can’t do X, incase it offends.. You have to win hearts and minds” etc etc..
I have said for months, that EVERYTHING Sleepy Creepy Joe does is WRONG! for almost 50 years everything Joe has done has been wrong for the citizens of the united States of America. It is just that simple. Granted he has made himself and his entire corrupt crime family wealthy, but he has always hurt the citizens of the United States of America. I believe he is too senile to be making any actual decisions now, but, someone just as bad is pulling his puppet strings. Could it be BHO?
Only liberals are stunned.
When does Harris start blaming climate change? Everyone knows a little change in weather can really piss off the locals
This is what happens when the office of U.S. president is occupied by someone who is woefully unqualified to handle the tasks at hand. Many innocent people will loose their lives as a result of Biden’s total incompetence. The corruption of a stolen election is already having tragically devastating consequences!
Thousands of our brave military people have already been killed, maimed, phycologically harmed and Biden has now made all that a total waste.
IF our enemies chose to pick a fight, we should NOT send in ground troops. Instead, carpet bomb until very little is left. Then artillery to eliminate hot spots. If they dig in, drop leaky propane bottles followed by flares to remove all ground personnel. Set up a puppet government and execute all resistance, starting with leadership and working down the chain of command.
Silly “police actions” only kill our people, waste billions of dollars, and accomplish zero benefit. This is insane.
How’s about take all the Fentinyl we’ve confiscated, and AIR DUST THE ENTIRE country…
This was shere incompetence all around within the administration. Everything they have attempted has backfired due to the lack of planning and expertise. Those who were in the Trump administration had warned when the withdrawal was proposed that the consequences we now see were inevitable unless the Biden team rethought their strategy. THEY DID NOT!
A severe intell failure, but the CIA was too busy with various sensitivity training course to pay attention to Afghanistan.
Same with the dept of do-nothing-defense…
This is where we are only half a year through an assured 4 years of complete leadership incompetence (4 years because even if Beijing Biden steps down or gets booted we have even greater incompetence stepping in to take his place). These collectivists have not only set the economy up for a massive catastrophe with their green new deal, border incompetence, reckless overall spending of future taxpayer money, and devastation of the principles of law and order, but they have attacked the first and second amendments, fomented the worst racial and class hatred since the reconstruction days after the American Civil War, and now for the encore (only 6 months into the term) they have managed to destroy whatever international respect we had by completely and utterly screwing up the Afghanistan situation.
Oh, and how soon do you think we will be seeing middle east terrorists coming in in droves from the unprotected southern border? There is no question this political situation is the absolute worst this country has experienced since the 1860’s. I blame the self serving morons of the mainstream media and academia along with the oligarchs of digital communication for setting the table for the most uninformed (ignorant) of us to put the people in power to let this happen.
IIRC we’ve already CAUGHT a good hundred or so, of those ON OUR terror watchlist, trying to cross that border, THIS YEAR ALONE..
I can imagine how swiftly those numbers will JACK UP after this debacle..
I really wonder about the 19 Republicans and the Supreme Court. HOW Could you not take up the Election fraud! All of them need to do some explaining. There isn’t a Churchill in the whole group. All are skimmers for Hitler as some where in England. The blood in Afghanistan is on each them, up to their necks. This is not stupidity, THIS IS TREASON.
Unfortunately no. THE ENTIRE GOP, combined, couldn’t aggrigate to the amount of BACKBONE ONE Churchill had…
“The President is to be commended for the clarity of purpose of his statement on Afghanistan and his action. The Taliban must know the world is watching its actions. We are concerned about reports regarding the Taliban’s brutal treatment of all Afghans, especially women and girls.” ~ Nancy Pelosi
Does she honestly believe that kind of vacuous, jaw-flapping BS will help even “one” woman?…other than herself
AND exactly what will the REST OF THE COWARDS in the world, do when the Taliban starts lopping the heads OFF those women/translators??
CRY A RIVER?!??!
In many cases, it took us BROW BEATING THEM In the media for months, before they Joined the “Coalition of the willing”…
This was caused by those with a short-sighted view of their hatred of President Trump. Not understanding the brutality and depth of the faith of Islam can prove fatal to the ignorant. You got rid of Trump, but gained a brutal adversary who hates your very guts.
I have yet to hear a clear explanation of why the Trump haters were so eager to oust him or why the hatred.
The big-money people now busily planning the rape of America’s democratic republic to satisfy their own greed, if successful, is going to come right back to bite them in their posterior as Islam expands. It’s the 7th and 8th Centuries all over again and Islam, Mohammedanism, is on the march.
Because.. Orange man bad!
Two options for choosing a much better POTUS:
Close your eyes. Open any phone book and put your finger down on a random page. That person would be a tremendous improvement.
Go to any factory and make the person who puts the product in a box the new president.
I’m old enough to remember all the “lessons of Viet Nam” that the Democrats kept harping about for thirty years or more.
The democrats didn’t learn a thing. But they never do seem to learn any lessons that result in positive changes.
We have, once again, State Department personal “sheltering in place” just like Benghazi. That has to instill confidence, right?
I believe this is all intentional in any event.
Two days ago I heard that there would be no repeat of Saigon. Imagine how strange it was today to see those helicopters above the rooftops in Afghanistan. I had to check the calendar to be sure we had not slipped back a few decades.
Because, before one can EVER REALLY “Learn a lesson”, first off one HAS TO ADMIT YOU MADE A MISTAKE..
Something democrats Never, ever do.
Time to purge all the top brass at the Pentagon and the heads of all the intel agencies who insisted that White Supremacy and Systemic Racism were the biggest national security threats we faced. Send them to Afghanistan to negotiate with the Taliban.
I keep saying THAT SHOULD HAVE been done DAY ONE OF TRUMPS tenure..
Maybe had he done so, we’d have not seen the dems able to OUST HIM and replace him with bumbling biden!
Where to start, and where to end (with the LITANY of STUPIDITY of the Biden Administration [and the Democrats, in general])!
This CAN’T POSSIBLY HAPPEN (says Biden), but if it DOES, it’s all Trump’s fault!
What a DOOFUS we have in the White House!
Seriously, what group of DEPLORABLE Democrats wanted THIS to happen to the United States and to the WORLD?
What’s REALLY SAD, is there are STILL a large group of “Low Information Voters” who will CONTINUE to vote for Democrats, because they Republicans are “evil”!
Sadly, I REALLY think that the only thing that’s going to put America (and the World) right again, is ANOTHER Civil War (to ONCE AGAIN put the Democrats back in-line with CIVILIZED society)!
FIRST, it’s Slavery; NOW it’s Socialism/Communism/Marxism (which, oddly, is ANOTHER form of Slavery)!
IF WE do, have to get into a new civil war. IF/when we win it, WE SHOULD NOT LET THE LEFT< live afterwards..
I’m not sure why anyone is surprised. Joe Biden has been on the wrong side of almost every international decision since he began his career 50 some years ago. Did anyone think that would change when he became President?
You give them an entire country and toss in millions and millions of dollars of military hardware and you are SURPRISED they take it? We have Pelosi so crippled with TDS and venomous hatred she can not see straight, Kamala the mattress back tramp, and brain dead biden. May God have mercy upon us. The rest of the world is just laughing.
Stunned by stupidity this administration and its illegitimate President will always be.
These days, the DEPTHS o depravity, abject stupidity, and down right FUBARness that this admin gets us into, NO LONGER Surprises me..