President Joe Biden has faced mounting criticism in recent weeks for a chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, which ushered in a Taliban uprising within the war-torn nation.
Now, vocal critics of the president say the debacle has led to the unacceptable scenario in which the U.S. military is relying on the Taliban to honor its commitment not to attack Americans desperate to be evacuated.
“We’re doing everything we can”
According to the Daily Caller, U.S. Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, who heads the U.S. Central Command, made such an argument this week during a Fox News Channel appearance.
His remarks on Thursday hinged on the recent terrorist attack near the Kabul airport, which left many — including U.S. Marines — dead or wounded and further disrupted evacuation attempts.
“We expect those attacks to continue and we’re doing everything we can to be prepared for those attacks,” McKenzie said, as the Daily Caller reported.
Biden’s military says they are relying on the Taliban to “protect us” at the Kabul airport as 12+ U.S. soldiers have been killed. pic.twitter.com/mRE8p6vvxe
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 26, 2021
He went on to list a few of the options on the table, which include “reaching out to the Taliban who are actually providing the outer security cordon around the airfield, to make sure they know what we expect them to do to protect us.”
Biden digs in
McKenzie blamed the deadly attack on an offshoot of the Islamic State — ISIS-K — and not the Taliban. Multiple media outlets have issued similar reports and ISIS has claimed credit for the violent bombing.
Biden not only seconded that admission, but he even doubled down on it in subsequent remarks to reporters. He went on to praise McKenzie for the job he has done while attempting to heap more blame on the policies of former President Donald Trump.
Although the president made it clear that he does not trust the Taliban, he offered some apparent praise for the group’s willingness to cooperate with American evacuations thus far in the process.
Even with all the requisite caveats, it seems clear that America is now relying on the honesty of the Taliban as Americans remain trapped under an increasingly brutal regime.
It remains to be seen how much the latest troubling development impacts the president’s already sagging approval rating.