By Jenny Goldsberry
Biden addressed the nation about the Taliban overtaking Afghanistan Monday. Most Americans, 69.3% disapprove of his handling of Afghanistan military operations according to this weekend’s poll from the Trafalgar Group.
“My national security team and I have been closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Afghanistan,” Biden said, calling it a “rapid collapse.” But, he doubled down saying the mission from the beginning was “never supposed to be nation-building,” or “unifying.” Instead, he said it was about “preventing another terrorist attack on American homeland.”
“There was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces,” Biden said. “The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we anticipated.”
Yet to Biden, the developments of the past week confirmed to him that it was the right decision to withdraw. “Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves,” he said. Despite training and equipping the force, the 300,000 strong military collapsed. According to him, it was a force “larger in size than many of our NATO allies.” Then, the U.S. provided Afghanistan with an air force, something the Taliban does not have. Still the U.S. will continue to provide close air support.
“We could not provide them a will to fight for that future,” Biden said. “It is wrong to order military troops to step up when Afghanistan’s own forces would not.” In the meanwhile, Biden claimed our troops were “bearing the brunt of the fighting for them.”
Now, there are 6,000 soldiers assisting withdrawal and escape for Americans and at-risk Afghans. They have taken over air traffic control, transferring diplomats to the airport as well.
Biden did not take questions following the press conference.
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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