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By Jenny Goldsberry
President Biden announced Monday that he will be addressing the situation in Afghanistan Monday afternoon, following reports of violence in the country. Meanwhile, Biden is set to meet his goal of withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan early. So far, there are around 5,000 troops still remaining.
First, when Biden was asked “Is the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable?” he responded with a profound “no.”
“Because you have the Afghan troops at 300,000 well-equipped, as well as any army in the world,” Biden said then. “Against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable.”
Now, as Sara Carter reported, Taliban fighters are nearing the capital of Kabul. Sources close to Biden have admitted that they are actively searching for nearby countries to take in refugees on the run from the Taliban. As a result, Biden will be speaking on the situation.
“I will be addressing the nation on Afghanistan at 3:45 PM ET today,” the president tweeted Monday.
But the scramble to readdress the problem comes too little too late for most. Even some Democratic lawmakers have turned on Biden over the crisis. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) made a statement begging for “decisive action.”
“Dire conditions on the ground persist today and without swift, decisive action from the administration, Afghan civilians will suffer or die at the hands of the Taliban,” Shaheen wrote. She also expressed a desire to see the current refugee program expanded for women. “A failure to act now will seal their fate, and the generation of girls who grew up with freedoms, education and dreams of building their country’s future will die with them,” her statement read.
Then Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) released a similar statement expressing regret that Biden hadn’t “carefully planned to prevent violence and instability.”
“We must act swiftly to protect Americans and our Afghan allies and partners on the ground,” his statement read. “We cannot abandon those who fought by our side who now face mortal danger from the Taliban’s takeover. We have a moral obligation to act immediately to protect their lives and a national security imperative to ensure that Afghan soil does not again become a source of terrorist attacks on our allies and our homeland.”
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
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Taliban Holds Parade for 250 Newly Trained Soldiers with American-Made Weapons Left Behind
As the result of an ill-prepared withdrawal that went horribly wrong, the Taliban now holds a large stock of weapons and equipment left behind.
On Sunday, Taliban forces held a very bone-chilling parade showing off their captured American-made armored military vehicles and Russian helicopters. The act was “a display that showed their ongoing transformation from an insurgent force to a regular standing army” writes CNN.
The Taliban are no longer terror insurgents fighting against American forces that had once freed Afghanistan from the Taliban. As the result of an ill-prepared withdrawal that went horribly wrong, the Taliban now holds a large stock of weapons and equipment left behind.
The parade was part of a graduation for 250 newly trained Taliban soldiers, said defense ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarazmi. CNN reports, “The exercise involved dozens of US-made M117 armored security vehicles driving slowly up and down a major Kabul road with MI-17 helicopters patrolling overhead. Many soldiers carried American-made M4 assault rifles.”
Tragically, much of the weaponry taunted in the parade by Taliban forces were supplied by the United States to the American-backed government in Kabul during the past two decades. The equipment was to aid an Afghan national force and make it capable of fighting the Taliban.
As forces fled Afghanistan, some of the military equipment provided by western forces was flown into Central Asian Countries in an attempt to avoid it landing in the hands of the Taliban. It remains unclear exactly how much of what did end up in Taliban control is still operational.
American troops destroyed over 70 aircraft and dozens of armored vehicles, as well as disabled air defenses before flying out of Kabul during the frenetic evacuation. CNN reports “Taliban officials have said that pilots, mechanics and other specialists from the former Afghan National Army would be integrated into a new force, which has also started wearing conventional military uniforms in place of the traditional Afghan clothing normally worn by their fighters.”
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