President Biden claims Taliban takeover ‘not inevitable’ in July 2021
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Joe Biden only last week said he did not regret his decision to remove all US troops from Afghanistan despite concerns of Taliban insurgents reclaiming powers. Following the fall of Kabul into the hands of the militants on Sunday, footage of the US President repeatedly claiming a takeover was “not inevitable” re-emerged, fuelling further criticism of the Biden Administration. In the video from July 8, the US President is asked whether the Taliban seizing power was “inevitable”, to which Mr Biden said: “No, it is not.
“Because the Afghan troops have 300,000 well-equipped, as well as food as any army in the world, troops and an Air Force, against something like 75,00 Taliban. It is not inevitable.”
Challenged about intelligence reports warning of the collapse of the Afghan Government, the US President said: “That is not true.
“They did not reach that conclusion. The Afghan Government leadership has to come together.
“They clearly have the capacity to sustain the Government in place.”
Joe Biden only last month said a Taliban takeover was “not inevitable” (Image: MSNBC)
Afghanistan evacuation: US staff was evacuated from the embassy via helicopter (Image: AL JAZEERA)
The ongoing evacuation of US personnel from Afghanistan has sparked comparison with the US retreat from Vietnam in 1975, an issue Mr Biden had also addressed in his July 8 press conference.
Asked about history potentially repeating itself, Mr Biden said: “What you had is, you had entire brigades breaking through the gates of our Embassy.
“Six if I’m not mistaken. The Taliban is not the North Vietnamese army. They’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability.
“There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people lifted off the roof of an Embassy of the United States from Afghanistan.”
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Taliban insurgents patrolling the streets after retaking Kabul (Image: GETTY)
Photos from Kabul did indeed show US personnel in Kabul being evacuated from the Embassy’s roof via Chinook.
Former Nato secretary general Lord Robertson said there had been a failure in intelligence by the West, “which allowed President Biden up until the last moment to predict the Taliban would not take over swiftly in Afghanistan”.
Lord Robertson added: “That failure of intelligence should worry all of us about the future.”
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Kabul Airport saw thousands of Afghani rushing in in a desperate attempt to leave Afghanistan (Image: GETTY)
The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan happened “far too quickly”, he told Good Morning Scotland.
“It didn’t have to be like this.
“If we had learned the lessons of what happened in Bosnia and Kosovo then a gradual withdrawal based on facts on the ground and success on the ground may have stopped this catastrophe from happening.
“But, sadly, we don’t learn from the past, we don’t learn from previous experiences, and therefore a wholesale withdrawal of American forces meant that the country was left in a condition that has now led to the Taliban taking over.”