The Biden administration was stunned by the Taliban’s advance

The Biden administration was stunned by the Taliban's advance 6
The Biden administration was stunned by the Taliban's advance 6

US President Joe Biden campaigned as a politician with experience in international relations and spent months downplaying the prospect of the Taliban gaining control in Afghanistan, arguing that Americans were tired

However, on August 15, top officials in the Biden administration admitted they did not expect the rapid collapse of the Afghan security forces.

`We found that force was unable to defend the country, and that happened more quickly than we anticipated,` Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, referring to the Afghan military.

The chaos in Afghanistan poses a challenge for a US President primarily focused on his domestic agenda, including overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic and getting congressional approval for a national infrastructure plan.

Biden remained at Camp David on August 15, regularly receiving briefings on the situation in Afghanistan and meeting via video conference with members of the national security advisory team, according to senior White House officials.

Internal discussions are already underway for Biden to speak publicly, according to two unnamed senior Biden administration officials.

US President Joe Biden spoke at a press conference at the White House on August 12.

Biden is the fourth US president to face challenges in Afghanistan and affirmed that he will not pass the burden of America’s longest war to his successor.

`The possibility of the Taliban controlling and running the entire country is very unlikely,` Biden said last month.

Biden last week also publicly expressed hope that Afghan forces would strengthen their will to protect the country.

One official said Biden appeared more optimistic when he predicted the Afghan army would be able to hold off the Taliban to boost the eroding fighting spirit among their forces.

Former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump also desired to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, but in the end could not overcome opposition from military leaders as well as other political concerns.

Most Republicans do not urge Biden to maintain troops in Afghanistan for a long time, and they also support Trump’s push for a troop withdrawal plan.

Meanwhile, US officials are increasingly concerned about the possibility of increased terrorist threats against the US, according to a source familiar with the matter.

General Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told senators during a meeting on August 15 that US officials expected to change their previous assessment of the pace of the groups’ rise.

Officials attending the meeting told senators that the US intelligence community is assessing the situation and devising a new strategy based on emerging threats.

However, no additional action was outlined beyond deploying thousands more troops to Kabul airport under Biden’s orders.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a supporter of the Biden administration’s strategy, said in an interview that `the speed was unexpected` but did not view the current situation.

Among Biden’s senior staff, the rapid collapse in Afghanistan only proves that the decision to withdraw troops is the right one, because if the Afghan security forces disintegrate too quickly after nearly two decades of US presence, then

For more than a decade, Biden has always believed that Afghanistan is not a reliable partner of the United States.

When he was vice president, Biden opposed Obama’s increase of 30,000 troops into Afghanistan in an effort to stabilize the country.

Biden prides himself on providing clear facts to the American public, but his optimistic assessment just a month ago could come back to haunt him.

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