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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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Mental health crisis spikes among Afghan women after Taliban regained control two years ago
The women of Afghanistan are suffering a mental health crisis since the Taliban regained power two years ago. According to a joint report from three U.N. agencies released Tuesday, approximately 70% of women experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.
The numbers continue to rise, as there has already been a significant jump between April and June of this year alone, with an increase from 57% the preceding quarter.
The report, conducted by U.N. Women, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, interviewed women online, in-person and in group consultations as well as individual telesurveys.
592 Afghan women in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces took part in the study. The Associated Press reports:
They have barred women from most areas of public life and work and banned girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade. They have prohibited Afghan women from working at local and non-governmental organizations. The ban was extended to employees of the United Nations in April.
Opportunities to study continued to shrink as community-based education by international organizations was banned and home-based schooling initiatives were regularly shut down by the de facto authorities — a term use by the U.N. for the Taliban government.
Afghanistan is the only country in the world with restrictions on female education and the rights of Afghan women and children are on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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