Just over a month ago, President Joe Biden, in a press briefing talked about his “Trust” in Afghan forces, increasingly appears a grave mistake as the Taliban makes rapid gains, already capturing more than a dozen provincial capitals in the past week alone. It is looking more likely every day that the entire country will fall to the Taliban.
President Biden On July 8, during a news conference said, “The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely. I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and more competent in terms of conducting war.” He was answering questions about whether withdrawing the roughly 2,500 remaining U.S. troops would result in a civil war or a Taliban victory.
On Friday the State Department begin reducing its staff levels at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the Pentagon is sending in troops to help facilitate those departures, the agency said, as Taliban forces advance on more provincial capitals.
The U.S. has sent 3,000 additional troops this week to help pull out civilian personnel from the U.S. embassy in Kabul, but Biden has insisted this does not qualify as an evacuation, even as reports emerge U.S. officials have begun to destroy classified materials.
According to ABC News, the U.S. military assesses that Kabul, the capital, could be isolated within the next 30 to 60 days and captured withing 90 days. At the rate the Taliban is conquering today, it may not be that long.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby wouldn’t say the advances took the Biden administration by surprise but said they are “certainly concerned” by the speed at which the Taliban is moving.
“There wasn’t one precipitating event in the last couple of days that led the president and the secretary to make this decision. It’s a confluence of events and as I’ve been saying now for several weeks, we have been watching very closely with concern the security situation on the ground, and far better to be prudent about it and be responsible and watching the trends to make the best decisions you can for safety and security of our people than to wait until it’s too late.”
Kirby said Friday afternoon in a briefing from the Pentagon, “We’re obviously watching this just like you’re watching this and seeing it happen in real-time, and it’s deeply concerning. In fact, the deteriorating conditions are a factor, a big factor, in why the president as approved this mission to help support out reduction of personnel there in Kabul.”
“Clearly from their actions, it appears as if they are trying to get Kabul isolated,” Kirby said of the Taliban at the Pentagon Friday afternoon.
This is an ongoing event and will be updated periodically.