Joe Biden is facing the worst crisis of his presidency as his plans for an orderly US withdrawal from Afghanistan crumbled.
The frantic scramble to evacuate American diplomats before the Taliban took control of Kabul has raised questions about Mr Biden’s judgement.
Despite warnings that the Afghan government would collapse, Mr Biden accelerated the timetable he inherited from Donald Trump.
The chaotic scenes unfolding on American television screens were seized upon by Mr Trump and his supporters.
“He ran out of Afghanistan instead of following the plan our Administration left for him – a plan that protected our people and our property, and ensured the Taliban would never dream of taking our Embassy or providing a base for new attacks against America,” Mr Trump said.
Steve Scalise, the Republican whip in the House of Representatives, said the Afghan crisis had been “an epic failure on President Biden’s foreign policy.”
Mike Pompeo, Mr Trump’s secretary of state who led talks with the Taliban, insisted that the administration never trusted them.
On Saturday Mr Biden made no apology for his strategy to end the 20-year American presence in Afghanistan.
“I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan—two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth,” he said.
The US president spent Sunday locked in talks with his national security team discussing the evacuation of the country’s diplomats and allies.
Photo: US President Joe Biden. EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ / POOL
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