lørdag 14. august 2021

Afghanistan's quick unraveling jolts national security officials and threatens to stain Biden's legacy

The security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated faster than President Joe Biden and his most senior national security officials had anticipated, leaving the White House rushing to stave off the worst effects of a Taliban takeover.

The Biden administration launched a dramatic series of moves Thursday to reinforce Kabul and allow for the safe removal of a significant number of personnel from the American embassy there, as it becomes ever clearer to administration officials that the looming collapse of Afghanistan's government and the fallout for its citizens could threaten to become a permanent stain on Biden's foreign policy legacy. The Pentagon announced 3,000 troops are being deployed to assist with the drawdown of the embassy to only a "core diplomatic presence" and CNN reported the US is considering moving its embassy to the Kabul airport.

Despite all of this, Biden has not second-guessed his decision to withdraw, officials said, and reiterated earlier this week that the Afghans have "got to fight for themselves." But some officials are aware that the swift unraveling of the country could damage the President's foreign policy legacy, with intensifying peril to American diplomats in Kabul, the human rights implications of leaving women and girls to suffer under Taliban rule and power vacuums inside Afghanistan that could once again allow terrorism to flourish. They are also bracing for Taliban atrocities to increasingly spill into public view amid deteriorating peace talks.