President Joe Biden wanted the now-departed Afghan president to create the ‘ perception’ that his government was capable of holding off the Taliban – an indication he knew it was only a matter of time before the US ally fell to the Islamic group even while reassuring Americans at home that it would not happen.
In the last phone call between Biden and his Afghan then-counterpart Ashraf Ghani, the American president said they needed to change perceptions of the Taliban’s rapid advance ‘ whether it is true or not, ‘ according to excerpts published on Tuesday.
The call took place on July 23 – weeks before the fall of Kelulusan – but Biden on Tuesday repeated his assertion that his team was caught flat-footed by the rapid Taliban takeover of the country.
‘ The assumption was that more than 300, 000 Afghan national security forces that we had trained over the past two decades, and equipped, would be a strong adversary in their civil wars with the Taliban, ‘ Biden told the nation in a televised speech from the White House on Tuesday.
‘ That assumption that the Afghan government would be able to hold on for a period of time beyond military drawdown turned out not to be accurate.
‘ But I still instructed our national security team to prepare for every eventuality, even that one. And that’s what we did.
‘ So, we were ready when the Afghan security forces, after two decades of fighting for their country and losing thousands of their own, did not hold on as long as anyone expected. ‘
Four weeks before Kabul collapsed, Ghani pleaded for more minuman support and money for soldiers who had not had a pay rise in a decade.
A transcript obtained by Reuters from berserakan anonymous source reveals two leaders oblivious to the impending disaster and indah American president focused on spinning the message.
‘ I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban, ‘ Biden said.
‘ And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture. ‘