The world is worried about what will happen to Afghan people under the Taliban, as the memory of what happened during their last government is present among Afghans and the rest of the world.
“The gap between official Taliban statements on rights, and the restrictive positions adopted by Taliban officials on the ground, indicates that the Taliban are far from an internal consensus on their own policies,” New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a 2020 report.
On Monday, Aug. 16, Biden spoke from the White House, stating that while the Taliban’s retaking of Afghanistan 20 years after their ousting by the U.S.–led forces “did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated.” However, according to Fox News, he still stood “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw troops.
Biden declared toward the end of his speech that “the buck stops” with him. However, not before blaming his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, for negotiating a peace deal with the Taliban that forced the current president to choose between “escalating the conflict and sending thousands of American troops back into Afghanistan.”
Prior to Biden’s speech, republicans and others criticized Biden for pointing fingers too often and not taking responsibility for the Afghan mess. In a brief statement, Trump said, “It’s not that we left Afghanistan. It’s the grossly incompetent way we left!”
The administration is quick to point out that Congress failed to amend the statutes governing the special immigrant visa (SIV) process, which has caused more delays, Politico reported.
On Wednesday, Aug. 18, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley appeared to take a swipe at the intelligence community, claiming that no one could have predicted the Taliban would take over the country as quickly as they did.
“I have previously said from this podium and in sworn testimony before Congress that the intelligence indicated multiple scenarios were possible,” he said. “However, the timeline of a rapid collapse that was widely estimated ranged from weeks to months and even years following our departure. There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days.”
During a call with members of Congress on Sunday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin blamed Afghan forces for the failure, stressing that “you can’t buy willpower.”
Others directed their anger at the White House, implying that they were afraid of right-wing attacks if they allowed a stream of Afghan refugees into the nation, forcing the US government to rely on other countries to house Afghan visa applicants.
Moreover, the White House was blamed for acting too cautiously on moving Afghans to the United States due to political fear of GOP attacks.
As one person in the government put it: “It’s like they want the credit from liberals for ending the Trump cruelty to immigrants and refugees but they also don’t want the political backlash that comes from actual refugees arriving in America in any sort of large numbers.”
Many others blamed the State Department, particularly Afghanistan Task Force Director Ambassador Tracey Jacobson, “She obviously did a heck of a job,” said one colleague. “She has a lot of questions to answer.”