A day after the airport footage went viral, and after President Joe Biden delivered a defiant and defensive speech, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday as many as 10,000 Americans remain in Afghanistan, most of them in or near Kabul.
“We think there are certainly thousands of Americans. We don’t have an exact count,” John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters.
China mocks, warns Taiwan after witnessing Afghanistan debacle
America’s enemies around the globe are observing President Joe Biden and his administration, and taking notes, and right now that means all eyes are on Afghanistan.
"It's a disaster for American credibility," Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) told the “Washington Watch” radio program on Monday following Biden’s angry speech at the White House.
Without directly addressing the frantic evacuation around the Kabul airport, Biden claimed some Americans want to remain in Afghanistan but he personally opposes staying. That claim was viewed by some as a strawman argument that attempted to deflect from the disastrous security situation in Kabul.
"Can you imagine,” Waltz told the radio program, “what our allies in places like Taiwan or Ukraine are thinking right now watching this?"
In fact, the Chinese Communist Party and the country’s military generals are certainly watching, CNS News, citing CCP propaganda, reported in a Tuesday story.
“Taliban’s rapid victory embarrasses U.S., smashes image, arrogance,” states the headline from Global Times, the state-owned Chinese newspaper.
An editorial in the Times concluded that Taiwan’s leaders should “wake up from their dreams” if they still believe the U.S. will help them after the U.S. “abandoned” Afghanistan.
In a related Times story, a CCP college academic said the U.S. departure from Afghanistan was a “warning to the Taiwan secessionists or, rather, a forecast.”
China, meanwhile, has been negotiating with the Taliban because China wants access to Afghanistan's rare minerals that are literally worth trillions of dollars.
In a separate radio interview on American Family Radio, author Ivy Scarborough used the word "fools" to describe the Biden administration.
Scarborough spent time in Afghanistan in the 1980s, where he documented the Soviet Union's war with Afghans while imbedded with Mujahadeen fighters.
"This is just an incredible, chaotic mess," he said of the situation in Kabul.
Taliban militants now control Kabul, the country’s capital city, and have encircled the city’s airport where they control access to it and thus control who is able to catch a flight out of the country.
Kirby, however, told reporters the State Dept. has notified Americans who were told to shelter in place that they can now travel to the airport to leave.
Reacting to President Biden, who accurately said Monday that the Afghan National Army had collapsed and fled, that is not news to anyone paying attention, says national security analyst Bob Maginnis.
“Our internal reports, some of which have been published by the Special Inspector General in Afghanistan,” he advises, “have consistently talked about the waste, fraud, abuse, and the unpreparedness of the Afghan security forces.”
Such stories from Afghanistan, which are being shared in recent days, include Afghan National Army officers sexually assaulting their own soldiers only to be killed by their own soldiers. Afghan officers reportedly surrendered their cities, and thus gave up on their own soldiers, after the Taliban bribed them to give up.
Despite the criticism of the ANA, an estimated 66,000 Afghan soldiers and police have died fighting the Taliban. That militant group has lost an estimated 51,919, according to The Associated Press.
Biden in July: A collapse 'not true'
The speech from President Biden this week, which blamed Afghanistan’s army for Kabul’s plight, comes just five weeks after the President insisted at a White House press conference the Afghan National Army would hold back the Taliban.
“Is a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable?” a reporter asked Biden.
“No, it is not,” he replied.
“Why?” the reporter persisted.
“Because you -- the Afghan troops have 300,000 well-equipped — as well-equipped as any army in the world,” Biden replied, “and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable.”
Reacting to Biden’s bizarre speech on Monday, Army Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Tony Schaffer told American Family Radio that U.S. officials knew the corrupt and unreliable Afghan government would collapse, along with the army, and yet Biden publicly denied it last month at the press conference.
“If [Biden] didn’t understand the government was going to fall,” Schaffer commented,” then there’s something wrong.”
In fact, Biden was reminded of that fact at the July 8 press conference, too.
“Your own intelligence community,” a reporter began, “has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse—”
“That is not true,” Biden interrupted.
What has gone mostly unmentioned, Schaffer told show host Sandy Rios, is that the Trump administration brokered a deal with the Taliban to evacuate the country by May 1. That deal was ignored by Biden, however, whose administration set a date of August 31 to withdraw.
Biden acknowledged at the June 8 press conference that the Taliban had “ceased major attacks” against U.S. forces because of the May 1 deadline.
“The moment Joe Biden broke the agreement all bets are off,” Schaffer explained. “That’s why you saw the Taliban sweeping over the country.”