The United States is the mightiest military power but the Afghanistan crisis shows a single wrong political judgement humiliates a super power too, believes acting president Amrullah Saleh, who added that the Kabul airport chaos was “just the tip of the iceberg”.
“They are watching what they did. They are seeing how the world media is writing negative things about them… US is a global power, mightiest military power and we never wished them bad but this shows a single wrong political judgement humiliates a super power too. It wasn’t ever about American military or American intelligence… it was wrong judgement, wrong decision and they have started to pay the price,” Saleh said in an exclusive interview with CNN-News18.
When asked about the inability of the Afghanistan government to assess what was happening on the ground, Saleh said little could be done to change the attitude of a superpower. “I do accept that I have been a major player and a person of significance but did we have any say in US decision? No. We could not influence their decision. What happened in Afghanistan… I have been warning about these consequences for 2 years. They all are paying the price now. This was a political decision, not a military or intelligence one… It wasn’t the Taliban who won this war, it was the lack of political win in Washington which led to this scramble.”
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US President Joe Biden declared Tuesday he is sticking to his August 31 deadline for completing a risky airlift of Americans, endangered Afghans and others seeking to escape Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. The decision defies allied leaders who want to give the evacuation more time and opens Biden to criticism that he caved to Taliban deadline demands.
“Every day we’re on the ground is another day that we know ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both us and allied forces and innocent civilians,” Biden said at the White House, referring to the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate, which is known for staging suicide attacks on civilians.
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He said the Taliban are cooperating and security is holding despite a number of violent incidents. “But it’s a tenuous situation,” he said, adding, “We run a serious risk of it breaking down as time goes on.”
The Taliban, who have wrested control of the country back nearly 20 years after being ousted in a U.S.-led invasion after the 9/11 attacks, insist the airlift must end on August 31. Any decision by Biden to stay longer could reignite a war between the militants and the approximately 5,800 American troops who are executing the airlift at Kabul airport.
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