More than 100 people, including 13 US soldiers, were killed in the attack at Kabul airport yesterday. The attack follows US President Joe Biden’s decision to leave the country at the end of this month. This announcement caused chaos at the airport. “The cause lies in the last twenty years, not with Biden’s decision,” said Ivo Daalder, former US ambassador to NATO.
A departure was inevitable, says Daalder, a former confidant of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. “It’s behind 20 years of failed politics. We have to ask ourselves: how could we have acted better earlier to prevent this chaos? It is a shared responsibility and not just Biden’s responsibility.”
“Europe has remained silent”
Biden has been accused by some of bad leadership. But Daalder disagrees. “The situation has seemed stable in recent months, but it is only because the United States has promised the Taliban to leave Afghanistan. This is why they did not attack the Americans, even though they were already fighting the Afghan army at the same time.
Moreover, says Daalder, Europe could also have refused to accept the peace agreement. “If European leaders did not agree with the pullout, they should have said so when President Trump made the peace relationship with the Taliban in February 2020. But at this point, European leaders and the Secretary General NATO have remained largely silent. “
The Americans now want to leave Afghanistan on August 31, next Tuesday. The rapid departure and the attendant turmoil raise the question of whether the US military should not have stayed longer in Afghanistan. “By extending the deadline, you only risk more chaos and more attacks,” says Daalder. “The Americans cannot prevent this. Only the Taliban can do it, but do they want to?
The disturbances in Kabul show that Europe – militarily – is very dependent on the United States, concludes Daalder. “They are too dependent on the US military. Now the Europeans have no choice but to leave. Europe can criticize, but they should have consulted sooner.”
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