(Berlin) Sharp criticism of the USA is also smoldering in the western camp after the Taliban’s seizure of power in Afghanistan, which sealed the failure of the Atlantic Alliance’s 20-year military engagement in this country.
Posted on 8/16/2021 11:39 AM
Yannick PASQUET Agence France-Presse
From the British Defense Secretary to the German Chancellor to her possible successor, Washington’s European allies have made no secret of their disapproval of the panic scenes at Kabul airport with thousands of Afghans desperately trying to flee their country.
After two decades of Western military presence, Afghanistan is now in the hands of the Taliban, who patrol the streets of Kabul and have settled in the presidential palace.
Their return to power, from which they were driven by the Americans after the 9/11 attacks, is “a failure of the international community, which has not understood that things cannot be settled overnight,” said the British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.
In view of the privileged relations between London and Washington, the government of Boris Johnson seldom has for several days openly criticized the American decision to withdraw, which led to the withdrawal of NATO troops, including British and German soldiers.
In Germany, another strong traditional ally of the United States, discontent is palpable as law firms rush to evacuate their Afghan nationals and staff who have worked in their service.
The chairman of the conservative party Angela Merkel and candidate for his successor as chancellor spoke on Monday of “the greatest debacle that NATO has suffered since it was founded”.
“It is obvious that this commitment by the international community has not been crowned with success,” he said.
Armin Laschet, President of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). […] in Germany, with allies and in the international community ”.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will step down after the ballot, expressed her frustration with the situation in Afghanistan on Monday and cited “domestic” reasons for the US withdrawal.
“These are bitter events for everyone who campaigned for progress and freedom in this country,” said the Chancellor, according to participants from the AFP news agency.
In view of this wave of criticism, unprecedented since the US election last November, US President Joe Biden has remained silent since the Taliban takeover.
The president is scheduled to speak to the Americans from the White House at 3:45 p.m.
On August 10, during his last public address, Mr. Biden assured him that he had not “regretted” his decision to withdraw the last American soldiers from the country on August 31.
The bitterness in Germany is all the greater since in the last 20 years it was the second country after the USA with a total of around 150,000 soldiers to send foreign troops to Afghanistan.
The former German foreign minister at the time of the deployment of NATO troops, Joschka Fischer, ruined the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. “A mistake,” he says. “We see the consequences today,” he complained.
According to information from parliamentary sources, Germany wants to send soldiers to Afghanistan to evacuate its last nationals and threatened Afghans.
Russia, for its part, has established contacts with the Taliban. His ambassador in Kabul will meet them on Tuesday, said the Kremlin’s envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov.
Prepared for the arrival of the Taliban, Moscow has no plans to evacuate its diplomats and wants to avoid destabilizing its sphere of influence in Central Asia.
In recent days, Moscow has underlined and mocked the failure of its American rival after 20 years of war in Afghanistan