President Joe Biden said it would never happen. 38 days later, it did.
On July 8, 2021, President Biden was asked if a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would inevitably lead to a takeover of the war-torn country by the Taliban.
“No, it is not [evitable]” Biden replied, “Because you have the Afghan troops at 300,000 well-equipped – as well-equipped as any army in the world – and an airforce against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable.”
Later in the press conference, a reporter pointed out to Mr. Biden that his own Intelligence Community [had] assessed that the “Afghan government will likely collapse.”
“That is not true,” responded Biden in an agitated manner.
“Can you please clarify what they have told you about whether that will happen or not?” the reporter asked in a follow-up.
“That is not true,” Biden repeated, completely sidestepping the reporter’s question. “They did not… They didn’t reach that conclusion.”
“So what is the level of confidence [the Intelligence Community] has that [Afghanistan] will not collapse,” the reporter said, rephrasing her original question.
“The Afghan government leadership has to come together,” said Biden, dodging the reporter’s question for the third time. “They clearly have the capacity to sustain the government in place,” the president said without citing evidence.
Later, President Biden was asked if he saw any parallels between a withdrawal from Afghanistan and what happened in Vietnam.
“None whatsoever,” Biden tersely replied before predicting that there would be “no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy in the—of the United States from Afghanistan.”
38 days later that exact scenario took place.
The Taliban attacked the U.S. Embassy in Kabul the same way the North Vietnamese stormed the U.S. Embassy in Saigon in 1975.
Meanwhile, Biden headed to Camp David during this crisis, and although the president released a statement on Saturday, he has remained silent and out of sight as Americans fled the embassy and the Taliban stormed the presidential palace in Kabul.