Joe Biden praises ‘success’ of Afghanistan evacuation
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A huge 74 percent of voters named the US as the power which carries most blame for the chaos of the Afghanistan withdrawal, according to a poll of 9,255 people held from 12pm September 1 to 4pm September 2. Rushed evacuation efforts began abruptly on August 14, and the President and the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab both claimed that the situation in Afghanistan unfolded quicker than they had anticipated. But a risk report shown to Mr Raab on July 22 warned of “rapid Taliban advances”.
Western forces managed to evacuate approximately 122,000 people in just over two weeks.
At the mission’s peak, 19,000 people were rescued per day on flights that took off every 20 minutes.
But thousands of British and American nationals, as well as Afghans who worked alongside the West, are still stranded in Afghanistan, and now that the deadline for evacuation has passed, many fear for their lives.
A leaked United Nations report warned that the Taliban were plotting murderous revenge against Afghans who had worked with the West.
It stated the Taliban were carrying out a highly organised door-to-door hunt for people on their wanted list.
An Afghan interpreter, who previously worked for the British military, told BBC radio 4: “One day they [Taliban] will find us and they will kill us.
“They are searching for these people [interpreters], they will never ever leave these people.”
Another man who worked for Canadian forces said: “Please help us. If you don’t get us out of Afghanistan, we are going to die.”
Boris Johnson had reportedly pleaded with the President to push back the evacuation deadline, but the Pentagon said that the threat to American forces in Afghanistan had become too great and they must leave on August 31.
An Express reader said: “’Never leave a man behind’, was the words uttered by every military officer in the world, but BIDEN left THOUSANDS of people behind.
“He left BILLIONS of dollars in military equipment, and now thanks to him, the TALIBAN has the capability to fight like they have never fought before.”
A voter remarked: “The US has let down both the Afghans and any other supporting nation.
“Biden should hang his head in shame and his supporters should be appalled.”
Another person commented: “Joe Biden is entirely to blame.
“The manner in which the withdrawal was executed set off a chain of tragic events which could have been avoided with careful planning.
“America’s allies were not consulted, and the defeat was self-inflicted.”
Some readers blamed ex-President Donald Trump as he was the person to originally agree military withdrawal with the Taliban in February 2020 without the approval of the Afghan government.
A reader said: “Trump releasing 5000 prisoners/terrorists from jail prior to the evacuation maybe wasn’t such a good idea.”
Another wrote: “Biden should have broken the Trump deal.
“But that may have provoked direct attacks on the USA.”
Only five percent of voters said that the UK are to blame for the Afghanistan disaster.
However, many politicians have spoken out over the government’s lack of preparation for a Taliban takeover, despite being warned weeks before by intelligence.
Lisa Nandy, Shadow Foreign Secretary, blasted the Conservative government over the chaotic and unorganised evacuation efforts.
She said: “They had 18 months to plan for evacuation, but the Foreign Secretary hadn’t spoken to the Afghan or Pakistani Foreign Ministers for six months.
“With thousands left behind, this is utterly shameful.”
An Express reader agreed: “Boris and his government had time to implement a plan months ago to get people out.”
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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab received a tidal wave of criticism for being on holiday in Crete when Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, and for continuing to stay at the resort for two more days.
Mr Raab said: “Everyone was caught off-guard by the pace and scale of the Taliban takeover.”
He added that he deserved the break after “two years of a very gruelling, demanding schedule”.
Reports have emerged that Mr Raab was alerted to the situation unfolding in Afghanistan in a risk report published on July 22.
It read: “Peace talks are stalled and US/NATO withdrawal is resulting in rapid Taliban advances.
This could lead to: fall of cities, collapse of security forces, Taliban return to power, mass displacement and significant human need.”
Mr Raab has come under attack again this week as The Pentagon has claimed that Britain blocked attempts to shut down the airport gate which later became the site of a terror attack.
An ISIS-K militant set off a suicide vest at the Abbey Gate killing over 180 people and injuring 200 more on August 26.
The foreign secretary said the Pentagon’s claim was “just not true”.
He added: “We coordinated very closely with the US, in particular around the Isis-K threat which we anticipated, although tragically were not able to prevent, but it is certainly right to say we got our civilians out of the processing centre by Abbey Gate.”
However, emails from the British embassy told Afghan nationals to go to Abbey Gate on the day of the suicide attack, even after the UK foreign office had issued guidance warning people not to go near Kabul airport.
Just 13 percent of votes cast the Taliban as the culprits of the Afghanistan disaster.
One reader said: “I blame both the Taliban and those Afghans who have not attempted to fight for their country despite the training provided by UK military.”
Another feared for the futures of Afghan citizens: “I feel sorry for all the people who have seen change over the 20 years. The women and girls who had a future, which knowing the Taliban, will now be a nightmare.”
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