Mr. Bush opted to not publicly second-guess Mr. Biden’s choice.
“As he has maintained since leaving workplace, President Bush will decline to touch upon non-public telephone calls or his successors,” mentioned Freddy Ford, his chief of workers.
A sequence of Afghan governments have didn’t maintain management over huge sections of the nation, the essence of the American army’s “clear, maintain, construct” technique for years after the preliminary invasion. Whereas a succession of Afghan leaders, supported by the USA and its allies, promised to battle corruption, finish the drug scourge and set up secure governance, all of these positive aspects have proved fragile at greatest.
Ladies have taken a extra outstanding function within the authorities, and ladies have educated on a scale not seen earlier than the conflict started, however the way forward for these positive aspects is unsure if the Taliban achieve extra floor.
In an announcement on Twitter, President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan mentioned his nation “respects the U.S. choice and we’ll work with our U.S. companions to make sure a easy transition.” He added that his nation’s safety forces have been “totally able to defending its folks.”
However in non-public, Mr. Ghani has fumed concerning the American choice, in line with individuals who have spoken to him. He fears that it’s going to embolden the Taliban, and provides them little to no incentive to stay to the phrases of the settlement they reached a 12 months in the past with Mr. Trump. And lots of round Mr. Ghani worry that his personal authorities, already diminished in affect, may fall if the Taliban resolve to attempt to take Kabul, the capital.
“Simply because we withdraw from Afghanistan doesn’t imply the conflict ends,” mentioned Lisa Curtis, a high Trump nationwide safety official who handled Afghanistan. “It most likely will get worse.”
Mr. Biden is the primary president to have rejected the Pentagon’s suggestions that any withdrawal be “situations based mostly,” that means that safety must be assured on the bottom earlier than Individuals pulled again. To do in any other case, army officers have lengthy argued, could be to sign to the Taliban to simply wait out the Individuals — after which they might face little opposition to taking additional management, and maybe threatening Kabul.