US President Joe Biden said back in July that the Taliban’s* complete take-over of Afghanistan was “highly unlikely” in the wake of the West’s departure from the country after 20 years of military engagement. It seems, however, that the group’s rapid capture of Afghanistan’s capital on 15 August took his administration by surprise.
It was 12 August, three days before the “Fall of Kabul”, when the Joe Biden team was finally hit by an “oh, sh*t” moment and started treating the Taliban’s offensive in Afghanistan as a crisis, an exclusive report by Politico has revealed.
The report reviews an account of some 33 officials who recall internal discussions within the Biden administration on Afghanistan starting Wednesday, 11 August, as the US president and many of his staffers were looking to begin their summer vacation after a series of domestic political wins.
But as the terrorist group captured the provinces of Badakhshan, Baghlan, and Farah as well as some large provincial cities, Biden’s national security Cabinet reportedly learned from an intelligence briefing on 12 August that Ashraf Ghani’s government could fall “within weeks or days” and not within months, as had been expected before, one anonymous source told Politico.
At that point, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin reportedly recommended that Biden send in soldiers to evacuate the US Embassy and put protection around Kabul’s main international airport. By Thursday evening, the Pentagon said…