The United States will spend time on Monday focused intensively on securing the Kabul airport and additional US forces will be flowing into the airport on Monday and Tuesday, the US Deputy National Security Adviser said, as people tried to flee a day after the Taliban seized the Afghan capital.
Jon Finer said in an MSNBC interview that the United States remains engaged in diplomatic conversations with the Taliban in Doha, and acknowledged that the situation in Afghanistan had deteriorated faster than anticipated.
President Joe Biden and other top US officials were stunned on Sunday by the pace of the Taliban’s nearly complete takeover of Afghanistan, as the planned withdrawal of American forces urgently became a mission to ensure a safe evacuation.
The speed of the Afghan government’s collapse and the ensuing chaos posed the most serious test of Biden as commander in chief, and he was the subject of withering criticism from Republicans who said that he had failed.
Biden campaigned as a seasoned expert in international relations and has spent months downplaying the prospect of an ascendant Taliban while arguing that Americans of all political persuasions have tired of a 20-year war, a conflict that demonstrated the limits of money and military might to force a Western-style democracy on a society not ready or willing to embrace it.