(Washington) A “foreseeable catastrophe”, “a tragic chaos”: Joe Biden is facing one of the greatest tests of his inauguration with the debacle in Afghanistan, where the Taliban advance into Kabul.
Posted on Aug 13, 2021 at 1:50 PM
Elodie CUZIN and Shaun TANDON Agence France-Presse
The week in the White House began in a good mood, where the Senate celebrated broad support for the Biden plan of “historic” investments in infrastructure.
It ends under an avalanche of criticism, while in Afghanistan the Taliban have practically arrived at the gates of Kabul and Washington is planning the disaster evacuation of its diplomats, protected by the deployment of 3,000 American soldiers.
The Biden government has “as predictably surrendered an entire country to terrorists,” thundered Republican leader in the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy on Friday.
Even if he half-heartedly admits that Donald Trump’s withdrawal was initiated after 20 years of war that began in response to the 9/11 attacks.
His Senate colleague Mitch McConnell had also castigated a “foreseeable catastrophe” the previous day by calling on him to support the Afghan army against the Taliban primarily with air support.
The former Republican president gave him a press release on Friday denouncing the “tragic chaos”.
Signs of the extent of the crisis: If the sharpest voices come from the Republican side, it also rains criticism on the part of the generalist media, which are usually more benevolent with Joe Biden.
“The likelihood that the Taliban will take full control and rule the whole country is very unlikely”: CNN’s images of this presidential declaration from early July loops.
“Afghan lives destroyed or lost will remain part of the democratic legacy,” the Washington Post said in an editorial on Thursday.
Andrew Wilder, Afghanistan expert and member of the US Institute of Peace think tank, told reporters on Friday that he, like many others, was “surprised at the speed with which the situation in this country has changed” and regretted a withdrawal who doesn’t have to be “structured or responsible”.
It is hard not to conclude that it was not the American withdrawal but the way we withdrew that was instrumental in it.
Andrew Wilder, Afghanistan expert
Under Donald Trump, the United States signed an agreement with the Taliban on February 29, 2020, in which Washington undertook to withdraw all American forces from Afghanistan before May 1, 2021.
In April, Joe Biden confirmed the military’s full withdrawal, moving the date to September 11th and August 31st.
The seventy-year-old known for his empathy shows a remarkable distance in this area.
On Tuesday, he said he had no regrets about his decision, recalling the cost of that long war: more than $ 1,000 billion in 20 years and nearly 2,500 American soldiers dead.
The Afghans “must have the will to fight for themselves,” he stressed.
Anyone who says they keep a sheet of paper with the number of American soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq also fondly remembers that they are “the first President in 40 years to know what it is like to have a child in.” to have a war zone “. “. Her son Beau Biden, who died of cancer in 2015, was sent to Iraq.
If you continue to multiply Friday’s messages about its gigantic investment projects, the White House seems to be making the risky bet that Americans will continue to support this poll-popular retreat.
“President Biden is to be commended for having the strength to oppose those who want endless wars,” wrote the progressive veterans’ organization VoteVets on Friday.
For Brian Katulis of the left-wing think tank Center for American Progress, future American opinion remains “truly unpredictable.”
“If we see a series of atrocities that only affect Afghans,” there could be indifference, he told AFP. “But when Americans are involved, anything is possible. ”