World Biden Official Expresses Concerns for Women in Afghanistan in Deleted Tweet
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In a now-deleted tweet an official serving in President's State Department raised her personal concerns about the women of Afghanistan as the Taliban continues to make rapid gains and takeover large swaths of the country in the wake of the withdrawal of U.S. forces there.
Molly Montgomery, the deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, on Friday morning tweeted her concerns for the women of Afghanistan but later deleted the post. According to the State Department website, Montgomery formerly worked at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, as well as multiple other Foreign service postings.
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The president said he stood by his decision to remove U.S. troops and that "nation building" was never the goal in Afghanistan.The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan two weeks before the U.S. was scheduled to fully withdraw its troops, who have been there since 2001.
"Woke up with a heavy heart, thinking about all the Afghan women and girls I worked with during my time in Kabul. They were the beneficiaries of many of the gains we made, and now they stand to lose everything. We empowered them to lead, now we are powerless to protect them," Montgomery wrote in the since-deletedpost.
This deleted tweet from a senior Biden State Department official captures the private feelings of many others. pic.twitter.com/uoeEukSerh— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) August 13, 2021
A source at the State Department told Newsweek Montgomery deleted the tweet of her own volition and was not asked to remove the post.
The concerns from the high-ranking State Department official have beenin Washington and across the country. The Taliban has moved rapidly to retake large portions of Afghanistan as the U.S. and its allies have withdrawn their remaining troops in the country.
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"I think Donald Trump bears huge blame and Joe Biden will ultimately bear the ultimate blame," Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said.The GOP was split when the plan was originally announced by President Donald Trump, with some supporting the decision and others opposed. Those against the withdrawal argued Monday that Biden should have seen the Taliban takeover coming while those initially in support criticized him for doing a poor job.
The Biden administration has appeared surprised by how rapidly Taliban forces have overrun the U.S.-backed Afghan security forces. The Washington Post reported that military and intelligence officials have said the capital Kabul, and the U.S.-backed government there, could fall within a month to 90 days.
The administration of former Presidentwith the Taliban in February 2020, which would have withdrawn all U.S. troops from the country by May 1. Biden later extended that withdrawal , but then brought it forward to August 31. The Afghanistan War has become the longest in U.S. history, running from October 2001 to the present.
"The status quo was not an option. Staying meant U.S. troops taking casualties. American men and women," Biden said in early July, defending the withdrawal. The president said the mission the U.S. set out to achieve in the country was already accomplished years ago.
Biden’s defense falls flat with Afghans still wondering if they will make it out before US leaves
ON THE DEFENSIVE: Under fire from all sides for the chaotic U.S. evacuation effort following the Taliban's takeover of Kabul, President Joe Biden helicoptered back from his Camp David vacation to defend his decision to end the American military mission in Afghanistan, while offering scant explanation for why the rapidity of the collapse of Afghan forces caught him off guard. © Provided by Washington Examiner DOD header 2020 “We planned for every contingency, but I always promised the American people that I would be straight with you.
"The mission was accomplished in that we got Osama bin Laden and terrorism is not emanating from that part of the world," Biden said. Bin Laden—the alleged mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S.—was killed under the administration of former Presidentin May 2011. The Al Qaeda leader was residing in Pakistan when he was killed by U.S. forces.
The Taliban have already seized Afghanistan's second and third largest cities. Reuters reported on Friday the hardline Islamist militant group retook control of Kandahar, Herat and Lashkar Gah. Meanwhile, thehas redeployed troops to Kabul to assist in the evacuation of U.S. diplomats and other officials there. Hundreds of thousands of Afghans have fled their homes since the start of the year, according to the .
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The Taliban blitz exposes the failure of the 20-year Afghanistan war and portends terrorism threats, say former defense secretaries Panetta and Hagel.Afghan security forces, trained and equipped at the cost of $83 billion, wilted before Taliban fighters. With few exceptions, the Taliban rolled through provincial capitals without a fight despite a force of Afghan troops that was supposed to number more than 300,000. In reality, there were far fewer Afghan forces because of desertions and commanders who reportedly pocketed the pay of ghost soldiers they had kept on rolls. For those who remained and fought, there wasn't enough ammunition and food, to say nothing of pay.