World Allies embraced Biden. Did Kabul lay bare "great illusion"?
US carries out Kabul airstrike targeting suspected ISIS-K bomber posing 'imminent' threat to airport
The United States carried out a defensive airstrike in the Afghan capital, Kabul, targeting a suspected ISIS-K suicide bomber who posed an "imminent" threat to the airport, US Central Command said Sunday. © Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Smoke rises after an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday. The US military acknowledged later Sunday that there are reports of civilian casualties following the strike.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Well before U.S. President Joe Biden took office early this year, the European Union's foreign policy chief sang his praises and hailed a new era in cooperation. So did almost all of Washington's Western allies.
The EU's Josep Borrell was glad to see the end of the Trump era, with its America First, and sometimes America Only policy, enthralled by Biden's assertion that he would “lead, not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”
California school district says roughly 27 students stuck in Afghanistan after evacuation ends
Approximately 27 students from the San Juan Unified School District in Sacramento, California are stuck in Afghanistan.The San Juan Unified School District said the students come from 19 families, though the number of students left in Afghanistan continues to fluctuate as more information comes in.
Sunday's collapse of Kabul, triggered by Biden's decision to get out of Afghanistan and a U.S. military unable to contain the chaos since, certainly put a stop to that. Even some of his biggest fans are now churning out criticism.
Poland, Belgium end Afghan evacuation as clock ticks down
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland and Belgium ended their evacuations from Afghanistan, but other European nations vowed Wednesday to press on for as long as possible, as the clock ticks down on a dramatic airlift of people fleeing Taliban rule ahead of a full American withdrawal. President Joe Biden said he will stick to his Aug. 31 deadline for completing the U.S. pullout, as the Taliban insisted he must, ramping up pressure on the already risky operation to fly people out of Kabul. © Provided by Associated Press Hundreds of people gather near an evacuation control checkpoint outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug.
Borrell was among them, this time aghast at Biden's contention that “our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building,” coming in the wake of Western efforts over much of the past two decades to sow the seeds of the rule of law and assure protection for women and minorities.
"State-building was not the purpose? Well, this is arguable,” a dejected Borrell said of Biden's stance, which has come under criticism in much of Europe.
And for many Europeans steeped in soft power diplomacy to export Western democratic values, Biden's assertion that, “our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland,” could have come from a Trump speech.
EU Council President Charles Michel underscored the different stances when he said in a tweet Thursday that the “rights of Afghanis, notably women & girls, will remain our key concern: all EU instruments to support them should be used.”
Taliban resume some flights, press assault on final holdout
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's Taliban rulers resumed some domestic passenger flights to and from Kabul on Sunday, as the religious militia's fighters stepped up an assault on the last remaining pocket of resistance being led by fighters opposed to their rule. The anti-Taliban fighters in Panjshir province, north of the Afghan capital, are being led by former vice president Amrullah Saleh, who has appealed for humanitarian aid to help the thousands of people displaced by the fighting. A senior Taliban spokesman tweeted Sunday that Taliban troops had overrun Rokha district, one of largest of eight districts in Panjshir.
French Parliamentarian Nathalie Loiseau, a former Europe minister for President Emmanuel Macron, put the unexpected EU-Biden disconnect more bluntly: “We lived a little bit the great illusion,” she said. “We thought America was back, while in fact, America withdraws.”
It was no better in Germany, where a leading member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc, Bavaria Gov. Markus Soeder, called on Washington to provide funding and shelter to those fleeing Afghanistan, since “the United States of America bear the main responsibility for the current situation.”
Even in the United Kingdom, which has always prided itself on a its “special relationship” with Washington and now, more than ever, needs U.S. goodwill to overcome the impact of leaving the EU, barbs were coming from all angles.
Latest on Afghanistan: Biden says US 'on a pace' for Aug. 31 pullout; Taliban block Afghans from airport
Biden added the deadline depends on Taliban cooperation, and added that he has asked the Depts. of State and Defense to prepare contingency plans.His remarks from the White House came the same day the Taliban said it would stop Afghans from trying to go to the Kabul airport and told women to stay home to stay for a time to stay safe, fueling worries about how the Taliban will treat women.
Former British Army chief Richard Dannatt said, “the manner and timing of the Afghan collapse is the direct result of President Biden’s decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of 9/11."
“At a stroke, he has undermined the patient and painstaking work of the last five, 10, 15 years to build up governance in Afghanistan, develop its economy, transform its civil society and build up its security forces," Dannatt said Wednesday in Parliament.
"The people had a glimpse of a better life — but that has been torn away.”
Fact check: Post about ivermectin and Afghan refugees is missing context
The treatments are to rid refugees of possible parasitic infections and have nothing to do with preventing or quelling COVID-19. USA TODAY reached out to the post’s creator for comment. Ivermectin recommended to refugees as presumptive treatment for intestinal parasites Ivermectin is an anti-parasite product designed primarily for farm animals and, in some cases, human use. The Food and Drug Administration has approved ivermectin tablets to treat some parasitic worms and topical formulations to treat external parasites like headlice in humans.
Video: Former CIA director on ‘disastrous outcome’ of US exit from Afghanistan (FOX News)
Biden has pointed to the Trump administration deal negotiated with the Taliban 18 months earlier in Doha, Qatar, which he says bound him to withdraw U.S. troops, as setting the stage for the chaos now engulfing the country.
Still, Biden putting much of the blame on Afghan forces for not protecting their nation has not gone down well with Western allies, either.
Conservative Parliament member Tom Tugendhat, who fought in Afghanistan, was one of several British lawmakers taking offense.
“To see their commander-in-chief call into question the courage of men I fought with, to claim that they ran, is shameful,” Tugendhat said.
Chris Bryant, from the opposition Labour Party, called Biden’s remarks about Afghan soldiers, “some of the most shameful comments ever from an American president.”
In Prague this week, Czech president Milos Zeman said that, “by withdrawing from Afghanistan, the Americans have lost their status of global leader.”
As world marks 9/11, Taliban flag raised over seat of power
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban raised their iconic white flag over the Afghan presidential palace Saturday, a spokesman said, as the U.S. and the world marked the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The banner, emblazoned with a Quranic verse, was hoisted by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, the prime minister of the Taliban interim government, in a low-key ceremony, said Ahmadullah Muttaqi, multimedia branch chief of the Taliban’s cultural commission. © Provided by Associated Press A man walks down the stairs at dusk in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.
But despite all the criticism, there is no doing without the United States on the global stage. America remains vital to the Western allies in a series of other issues, in particular taking action against global warming.
After climate change disasters across much of the globe this year, the EU will be counting heavily on Biden to stand shoulder-to- shoulder in taking effective measures at the November COP26 global conference in Glasgow, Scotland, to speed up action to counter global warming.
Europe and Washington also have enough trade disagreements to settle to realize that despite the debacle of Afghanistan, there is much more that unites than divides them. A need for American power and help remains, even in Afghanistan.
Before Friday’s meeting of NATO foreign ministers, some Alliance nations have acknowledged they will be pleading to Washington to stay even longer in Afghanistan than it will take to bring all U.S. citizens home, wanting to make sure their people get out too.
“We and a number of other countries are going to the Americans to say: ‘Stay as long as possible, possibly longer than necessary,’” Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigrid Kaag said.
Associated Press writers Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands; Sylvia Hui in London; Karel Janicek in Prague and Colleen Barry in Milan contributed.
White House says a 'fair amount' of US military equipment provided to Afghans is now in Taliban hands .
"Obviously, we don't have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.WASHINGTON — National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday a "fair amount" of military equipment the U.S. provided the Afghan National Security Forces was seized by the Taliban in the militant group's quick route of Afghanistan.