August 19, 2021 – 14:45
US President Joe Biden declared that chaos would be imminent in Afghanistan once the United States decided to leave, after two decades of war.
“Afghanistan had a government, its leader got on a plane and went to another country, the troops we had trained collapsed and 300,000 of them gave up their weapons and left, that was just what happened,” Biden told ABC. News.
Meanwhile, U.S. military leaders said they were unaware of any intelligence reports or scenarios that could have predicted events to unfold so quickly.
“I did not see anything that showed the collapse of this army and this government for 11 days,” US Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley told a news conference.
“The timing of the collapse was widely estimated and ranged from week to month and even years after we left,” Milley said.
“There are no reports that say I was aware that a 300,000-strong security force would evaporate in 11 days,” he added.
US media have quoted intelligence sources as saying that the Biden administration had received warnings of a possible collapse very soon.
Biden said some US troops could stay in Afghanistan after August 31.
“If there are American citizens left, we will stay until we get them all out,” Biden was quoted as saying by interviewer George Stephanopoulos.
Biden insisted the U.S. would try to get all American citizens and allies out of the country ahead of schedule.
Biden said between 10,000 and 15,000 U.S. citizens were still in the country.
The U.S. has about 4,500 troops at Kabul airport and plans to increase the number to 6,000 soon. / ATSH