Joe Biden, the president of the United States, and other top U.S. officials were surprised on 15th August by the speed of Taliban insurgents’ seizure of Afghan capital Kabul, as the planned pullout of U.S forces instantly became a mission to ensure a safe evacuation. Moreover, the pace of the collapse of the Afghan government and the resulting chaos posed the most severe test of the U.S. president, and the Republicans criticized Biden for the mismanagement and his failure.
The president campaigned as a veteran expert in global relations and spent many months restraining the prospect of rising Taliban while arguing that American people of all political persuasions tired of a twenty-year war, a fight that established the limits of money, and NATO forces might implement a Western-style democracy in c country not willing or ready to embrace it.
However, by yesterday, top figured in the government acknowledged they were caught off guard with the swift collapse of Afghan security forces. Sporadic gunfire reported at the Kabul international airport provoked Americans to shelter as they waited for flights to escape from Afghanistan after the officials completely evacuated the United States Embassy. Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, told CNN that they observed that the Afghan military was unable to defend the country, and all this happened more rapidly than the U.S. expected.
The chaos in Afghanistan resets the focus of president Biden who mainly focused on a domestic agenda that includes emerging from the coronavirus pandemic, winning congressional support for trillions of dollars package in protecting voting rights and infrastructure spending. On Sunday, the president remained at Camp David, received regular briefings and updates on Afghanistan’s current situation, and held secure video conference calls with national security team members.
Biden ordered another 1000 Troops into Kabul for Secure Evacuation
The U.S. State Department and Pentagon shared a joint statement on Sunday, which said that they are completing a series of moves to secure the Hamid Karzai International Airport for the safe departure of the United States and allied personnel from Afghanistan through military and civilian flights. In addition, president Biden ordered one thousand more soldiers to Kabul to evacuate American diplomats and Afghan allies. The president took the decision following the swift seizure of Kabul by Taliban fighters.
A defense official confirmed that the United States decided to send another one thousand troops from the 82nd Airborne Brigade Combat Team to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, where American government officials, Afghans, and civilians were taking refuge from the Taliban latest gains. The latest number of troops join another one thousand soldiers from the 82nd Airborne redirected to Kabul from Kuwait, where they originally planned to stay on standby and another three thousand Army and Marine infantrymen who started arriving in Kabul on Friday. Around one thousand United States troops still have not left Afghanistan.
Furthermore, the new deployment of soldiers brings the total number in Afghanistan to around six thousand, almost three times when the United States pullout started in May. According to an U.S. official, initially, American forces had strong control of both the Kabul airport and the U.S. Embassy in the Afghan capital. However, within few hours, the airport was coming under fire, and the American troops were trying to take care of it.
The Pentagon is authorizing the deployment of another U.S. 1,000 troops to Kabul, boosting overall number expected in Afghanistan to about 6,000, two U.S. officials tell me.
The additional 1,000 come from an 82nd Airborne Division brigade already deploying in response to crisis.
— Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe) August 15, 2021