A recently disclosed conversation has revealed that both the American president and fugitive Afghan leader were not expecting Kabul to fall so quickly to the Islamists, although intelligence made such warnings as the US was hastily evacuating its people from the country.
US President Joe Biden advised his Afghan counterpart, Ashraf Ghani, to demonstrate to the world that the fight against the Taliban* was going well, “whether it is true or not”, a transcript of their July 23 phone call obtained by Reuters showed.
“I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden reportedly said. “And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
If high-profile Afghan officials were to give a press conference touting a new military strategy, “that will change perception, and that will change an awful lot I think”, Biden reportedly told Ghani.
Ironically, as the US ramped up evacuation efforts, billions worth of US-supplied weapons, initially intended to boost the Afghan military’s capabilities, fell into the hands of the Islamists, as they were seen flaunting US military gear and equipment on pictures circulating online.
“We are going to continue to fight hard, diplomatically, politically, economically, to make sure your government not only survives, but is…