Mr Biden, a government official said, expressed frustration that Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani had failed to effectively plan and execute what would be the latest strategy: consolidating troops to protect key cities. On Wednesday, Mr Ghani fired his army chief, Lieutenant General Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, who had only been in place for two months, and replaced him with Major General Haibatullah Alizai, a commander of special operations. The commandos under General Alizai are the only troops to have fought the Taliban consistently in recent weeks.
Richard Fontaine, the chief executive of the Center for a New American Security, an influential Washington think tank specializing in national security, wrote that ultimately the 20-year symbiosis between the United States and the Afghan government rose, supported and ushered in the election. had fallen out.
“Those who emphasize the military superiority of the Afghan government – in numbers, training, equipment, air force – are missing the bigger point,” he recently wrote. “Everything depends on the will to fight for the government. And that, it turns out, depended on the presence and support of the US. We urge Afghans to show political will when theirs depends on ours. And ours is gone.”
On Saturday, as the last major city in northern Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, Mr. Biden accelerated the deployment of 1,000 additional troops to the country to facilitate the safe evacuation of US civilians and Afghans working for the US government from Kabul. to help ensure.
Mr Biden released a lengthy statement blaming Mr Trump for at least some of the unfolding disaster. He said: “I inherited a deal made by my predecessor,” which “puts the Taliban in the strongest militarily position since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on US forces.”
He said he had a choice when taking office: stick to the deal or “step up our presence and send more US troops to fight again in another country’s civil conflict.”
“I was the fourth president to preside over a US force in Afghanistan—two Republicans, two Democrats,” Biden said. “I would not and will not pass this war on to a fifth.”