The US-backed government in Kabul fell on Sunday, four months after President Biden announced that America would be withdrawing from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of war. Officials in the US and around the world expressed shock at the speed of the capital’s collapse – less than two weeks after the Taliban captured its first city.
The surprise collapse of the Kabul government on 15 August continues to send shockwaves across the globe, forcing many US allies to privately (and sometimes openly) reevaluate Washington’s dependability and role as the planet’s preeminent power.
Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks has said that the “chaos” resulting from the disorderly US withdrawal from Afghanistan has weakened the Western alliance and forced members to reconsider whether the bloc is able to engage in nation-building abroad.
Pabriks’ comments were echoed by Armin Laschet, the politician running for the German chancellorship from Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in elections scheduled for next month.
“[Afghanistan] is the greatest debacle that NATO has suffered since it was founded,” Laschet said in a press conference in Berlin on Monday, saying that a “relentless error analysis” is now necessary to figure out what exactly went wrong. “It is a political and humanitarian catastrophe. The speed with which the Taliban occupied Kabul and many of the country’s provinces is…