Faced with the rapid advance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, announced on Saturday (14) the sending of additional forces to help evacuate the American embassy in Kabul. There will be 5,000 troops in all.
The Pentagon announced in the week that 3,000 men were on their way, while 1,000 others were already in the Afghan capital. The additional 1,000 soldiers belong to the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army, one of the best potential military units in the country.
“Based on the recommendations of our diplomacy and military and intelligence forces, I have authorized the deployment of troops to ensure a safe withdrawal of the United States and other allies,” the Democrat said. He added that the country would also help to evacuate some Afghans who had access to a special visa program.
Criticized by Afghan leaders, foreign policy experts and some military personnel for the decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, Biden returned to defend his position.
“I was the fourth president to command the presence of American troops in Afghanistan. There were two Republicans and two Democrats. I didn’t want to move this war to a fifth [presidente] and I won’t. “
The Democrat also reiterated the argument that Afghan leaders must unite if they are to defend the country. “Another year or five of US military presence wouldn’t have made any difference if the Afghan army couldn’t or wouldn’t maintain its own country.”
According to the US State Department, Secretary Antony Blinken met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday “the urgency of diplomatic and political efforts to reduce violence”.
Blinken had already spoken to Ghani on Thursday (12). The Afghan president, in a televised speech, said he has spoken to local and international leaders and that the priority is to re-mobilize the country’s troops – who are quickly succumbing to Taliban fighters.
The British ambassador in Kabul is also preparing to leave Afghanistan this Sunday (15), according to information from the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
At the start of the week, around 500 British employees remained in the country; now there are a few dozen left. The UK announced on Thursday (12) sending 600 troops to help UK citizens and local translators leave Afghanistan.
With the weak military capacity of national troops, the Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist group, have already taken control of 24 of the country’s 34 provincial capitals. The fighters are moving quickly towards the national capital, Kabul.
On social networks, residents and international correspondents share that it is already possible to see Taliban troops in the western part of the capital.
Kabul is the only major city currently under the control of the Afghan government. During the week, Kandahar and Herat were conquered by the Taliban. This Saturday, the group also settled in Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif.