On Thursday, August 19, Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron spoke on the phone about the situation in Afghanistan. The American and French accounts of the reasons for the war are the same even though they ignore reality.
Biden currently seems to be facing one of the biggest scandals of his tenure. The chaos and collapse of the Afghan state, widely criticized by Republicans and by certain elected Democrats, is a new controversy that has just been added to the substantial list of those already existing.
French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden addressed their respective nations on the capture of Kabul by the Taliban on August 15, 2021. Both claimed that the sole purpose of the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was to “pursue those who attacked us on September 11, 2001, and to ensure that al-Qaeda could not use Afghanistan as a base for further attacks.”
But the 2001 war was actually decided in mid-July 2001, when the Berlin negotiations between the United States and the United Kingdom and the Taliban – not the Afghan government – failed. Russia and Pakistan were observers at these secret talks.
Because of the failure, the US and the UK began to amass 40 000 troops in Egypt and almost the entire British fleet in the Arabian Sea. And only after this arrangement was in place, did the attacks of September 11 take place.
Biden is now being accused of having lied about the US withdrawal, stating that his administration had not anticipated such a brutal collapse of central Afghan power. But a confidential note dating from July 13, had alerted his staff to the imminence of such a shipwreck, and was revealed by the American media at the beginning of the week.
According to US officials quoted by the Associated Press, the evacuation of Kabul is complicated by the “significant” risk of an attack from ISIS. This threat, considered “important”, in addition to the presence of the Taliban, now makes the trip to the airport particularly dangerous.
Ironically, ISIS could just as easily attack US interests as it does the Taliban. According to AP, the position of both the US and the Taliban vis-à-vis terrorist groups remains difficult to define as Biden justified the withdrawal of the troops by the end of the presence of… Al-Qaida. But even weakened, the organization of Osama bin Laden as well as the Islamic State remain present.
Officially, the Taliban have pledged to cut ties with terrorist groups, but some pundits fear that Afghanistan will once again become a breeding ground for Islamist terrorism.
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