Heartbreaking Chaos At Kabul Airport

Heartbreaking Chaos At Kabul Airport

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With the Taliban having taken control of Afghanistan, there are some heartbreaking images and videos of the chaos and desperation at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. Yesterday I posted about how an Emirates 777 flying from Dubai to Kabul was on its descent when it decided to turn around to Dubai. That’s nothing compared to what has been going on at the airport since then.

Kabul Airport closes to commercial traffic

On Sunday Kabul Airport closed to commercial traffic, given that the Taliban took over the city, so there was no way commercial flights into the capital city could continue to operate safely. Not only that, but most airlines have started to avoid Afghanistan’s airspace, especially as the country’s air traffic control is no longer offering services to civilian aircraft.

At this point the flights leaving from Kabul are all evacuation flights. Unfortunately the way that this is being done leaves a bit to be desired, given the sudden nature of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul. While so many people are looking to flee, at the moment it’s primarily foreign government employees who are being rescued, with others being left to fend for themselves.

Heartbreaking scenes from Kabul Airport

With so many people looking to evacuate Afghanistan, the footage from the airport is absolutely wild. The airport is no longer secure, and people are trying to get onto planes any way possible.

There’s footage of hundreds of people on the tarmac around planes looking to depart, and even clinging onto jet bridges.

There’s footage of hundreds of people running alongside a US Air Force C-17 jet as it’s preparing to take off (by the way, this plane allegedly had 800 people on it).

There are even people hanging onto the exterior of the plane, hoping that it will allow them to escape (and I won’t even post it, but there’s video of the plane taking off and people falling from it).

Bottom line

The scenes from Kabul Airport are horrifying and heartbreaking. On this blog I typically cover air travel in the context of ways to maximize it and get as luxurious of an experience as possible, but this really puts stuff into perspective. On the most basic level, aviation is about connecting people and getting them where they need to go, and there’s no clearer example of that than what we’re seeing here.

It’s really sad that the situation in Afghanistan has so quickly deteriorated to the point that people think their best option is to hang onto the exterior of a plane as it takes off.

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  1. Rob

    I don't blame Biden. He is barely able to make it through a sentence without forgetting what he is talking about. Shame on the General's for claiming they tried to warn the administration this would happen, but then following the stupid orders anyway.

  2. Jeff

    It seems to me that the US had an obligation to those who try to help us in our misguided effort(s) there. The military who costs such a stupid ridiculous amount of money should’ve been able to airlift in some elite troops to keep control of the airport while they evacuated the people there. A pity they didn’t figure that out.

  3. Kevin

    What's even more horrifying and heartbreaking is that no one on that C-17 is wearing a mask or social distancing, more people are going to die of the covids than at the hands of the newly inclusive and diverse taliban.

    I hope the Flight Attendants filing the appropriate paperwork... Delta variant! DELTA VARIANT! Don't these people watch CNN?

  4. Kent

    Air India is resuming repatriation flights, although it is doing so under the auspices of the Indian Air Force.

  5. DCharlie

    Many are happy with the takeover by the new government. For one, law and order have returned. I am not endorsing any government - simply stating the alternative. Many who have participated in actions against the Taliban want to flee - understandably. There are many more who are not opposed to the Taliban taking over. The problem is that this takeover creates significant threats for the US. Wecan be sure that those hurt (physically and...

    Many are happy with the takeover by the new government. For one, law and order have returned. I am not endorsing any government - simply stating the alternative. Many who have participated in actions against the Taliban want to flee - understandably. There are many more who are not opposed to the Taliban taking over. The problem is that this takeover creates significant threats for the US. Wecan be sure that those hurt (physically and emotionally) over the last 20 years will want revenge. Never go into a war unless you can ensure complete destruction of your opponent.

  6. Emily

    The sad part is that Afghanistan, once a beautiful gem, has been exploited by world powers. The power vacuum, which has been fought for by dozens of independent factions, was created due to the greed of the major powers (USSR and USA namely).

    The story of Afghanistan resonates strongly within nations, which were also exploited by greedy Western capitalists. The US has lost many men within the last 20 years, but it is a...

    The sad part is that Afghanistan, once a beautiful gem, has been exploited by world powers. The power vacuum, which has been fought for by dozens of independent factions, was created due to the greed of the major powers (USSR and USA namely).

    The story of Afghanistan resonates strongly within nations, which were also exploited by greedy Western capitalists. The US has lost many men within the last 20 years, but it is a drop in the ocean compared to the innocent masses perished in the name of national security. Frankly, the US doesn't care about its own troops who have perished because the economic gains from the war far exceed the cost of lives - even their own.

  7. Josh

    What has the U.S.A. gained after spending billions upon billions of dollars over the past two decades ?
    The Taliban were temporarily overthrown and than pushed to the sidelines, but that was about it.

    The internal Afghani corruption is noteworthy for its vice grip over every aspect of daily life.

    Karzai and Ghani were incapable of speaking the truth with regards to this malignancy which they themselves oversaw and / or turned a blind...

    What has the U.S.A. gained after spending billions upon billions of dollars over the past two decades ?
    The Taliban were temporarily overthrown and than pushed to the sidelines, but that was about it.

    The internal Afghani corruption is noteworthy for its vice grip over every aspect of daily life.

    Karzai and Ghani were incapable of speaking the truth with regards to this malignancy which they themselves oversaw and / or turned a blind eye to.

    It seems likely that no amount of genuine effort on the part of U.S.A. would have resulted in an alternate ending .

    My heart goes out to women and progressive factions within Afghani society, who yearned for genuine long lasting change.

    The dominant male led political culture chose to ignore if not totally sidestep any real opportunity for genuine change to take root.

  8. Edgar

    Thanks, Ben, for converting a healthy travel blog into a political forum...you seem desperate, but there are better ways of filling up your website than adding such topics

  9. Honest Al

    I agree with Evan. We didn't learn from Vietnam. Let what will happen, happen. We shouldn't have gone to Vietnam and we shouldn't have gone to Afghanistan.

  10. david

    I don't know.....looks to me like a routine boarding when I travel in Africa.

  11. Fed UP

    Bottom line, the US and NATO had no business being there. After the hunt for bin Laden was over, the US should have left. Biden had the guts to withdraw, and will have to suffer all of the bad fallout that the photos bring. Thats why, 20 years later, the US was still there. No President wanted the pictures of the collapse during their presidency. Good for Joe. He did the right thing, it should have happened in 2002.

  12. Henry Young

    1 - We have known about CIA / deep state drug running for decades. 2 - Afghan Opium production in recent years has been restored to record levels. 3 - Opiate epidemic in USA. 4 - Prior to US invasion, Taliban had been burning poppy fields. Join the dots ...

  13. Ed

    Thousands of Americans lives lost in this country, billions of US taxpayer dollars to re-build, and train the Afghanistan police & military. And this is the result? Should the USA military remain in the country forever? No, we should not...this is from a guy who wore this country military uniform for over 30 years. Heartbreaking for you...not for me.

  14. Azamaraal

    Politics aside - this is a tragedy that should have been foreseen by any administration. Look at the fiasco trying to get the Embassy staff out of Tehran Iran when the Shaw was deposed, and that was less than a hundred. Of course - Saigon. History repeats.

    But if you adopt the policy that the Afghanis should fight their own wars think back:

    The Poles should fight Hitler
    It's up to the Jews to...

    Politics aside - this is a tragedy that should have been foreseen by any administration. Look at the fiasco trying to get the Embassy staff out of Tehran Iran when the Shaw was deposed, and that was less than a hundred. Of course - Saigon. History repeats.

    But if you adopt the policy that the Afghanis should fight their own wars think back:

    The Poles should fight Hitler
    It's up to the Jews to resist Hitler/PLO/ISIS
    France should never have surrendered
    Let the Brits fight the Battle of Britain - oh ya - they did and didn't run

    Backbone is severely missing somewhere in this scenario.

    Reminds me of the fall of the Roman Empire. They all partied as the empire fell apart.

  15. Leigh

    I have no interest in joining the political debate...but maybe by my next comment I am:

    Does anyone notice in the photos that there are only men trying to escape? They have no wives, mothers, sisters that they could try to help????

    Obviously and sadly a futile attempt to escape, but the pictures that included no women caught my eye...

    ...and despite the spelling of my name, I'm a guy.

    1. LK

      yup the men there abandoned their military (the President reportedly took 4 truckloads of money as he left the country) and then apparently abandoned their female family members as well. We should have armed the women instead.
      Waiting to see if the American talking heads complaining about the Afghan helpers we abandoned will next argue against more immigration Visas for Muslims Afghanis.

  16. James

    The Afghanistan military was trained to fight the ground war with the support of US intelligence and air support. Biden decided to just pull out the intelligence and air support. Of course their military collapses. I am less worried about Afghanistan than Americans. The weakness of us by running away from a bunch of caveman will fuel terrorists recruiting and in the long run will be costly to us and our allies. Obama's quick withdrawal...

    The Afghanistan military was trained to fight the ground war with the support of US intelligence and air support. Biden decided to just pull out the intelligence and air support. Of course their military collapses. I am less worried about Afghanistan than Americans. The weakness of us by running away from a bunch of caveman will fuel terrorists recruiting and in the long run will be costly to us and our allies. Obama's quick withdrawal from Iraq give rise to IS and that was a disaster for us and our allies. Seems Biden hasn't learned anything.

    1. Leigh

      Trump signed the deal to handover Afghanistan to the Taliban in February 2020, with a target of May 31, 2021. Sec of State Pompeo was the first ever to recognize the Taliban and meet with them. Seems you haven't learned anything.

      Anyways, it was a quagmire, and it was never going to work out well.

      The saying goes "cut your losses", and very sadly, it had to be done.

    2. D3kingg

      Your rebuttals sound like an America last loser mentality. Regurgitated from the news feed of an iPhone or Facebook . The world and all Americans are now less safe. Good job joey.

  17. M Jones

    Regardless of which President is responsible it is for the US to show the world that they can organise a a credible and professional departure. Everything they have failed to do. What this does is show the incompetence of Politicians to manage the roles they are supposed to manage. The failed in Vietnam and most of their wars since. Nobody respects the USA any more they see them as fools with a big gun that never works.

  18. D3kingg

    @Elizabeth

    You have no idea what you speak of.

    Trump would have handled the withdrawal differently. First off we would have obliterated the Taliban on our way out. They would know to think twice before ever messing with the United States of America. Secured the Afghan military with weapons , support , positioning , and strategic thresholds.

    1. Leigh

      You're a fool. You folks always lie, it's your thing.

  19. A Grumpy Old Man.net

    "Trump messed up and Biden may have made it worse."

    This. As to letting the Afghani people control their fate, I can see that to some degree. But remember, this is a country is a lot of corruption and systems that are not as stable as ours for allowing the people to exert their will. It's easy for us to say that when we do not have the circumstances on the ground there. Also, part...

    "Trump messed up and Biden may have made it worse."

    This. As to letting the Afghani people control their fate, I can see that to some degree. But remember, this is a country is a lot of corruption and systems that are not as stable as ours for allowing the people to exert their will. It's easy for us to say that when we do not have the circumstances on the ground there. Also, part of the need to be in place there was not just to "nation build." In keeping the Taliban at bay, it helps to keep terrorists from having a fertile ground from which to attack us. As fast as the Taliban too over, it's completely realistic that terrorists will begin breeding very rapidly, potentially creating new dangers for the western world in short order.

  20. Santastico

    And the incompetent puppet was on vacation while the world was watching this disaster. Nothing less than what was expected from this dinosaur.

  21. mpt

    Leave Afghanistan to the Afghans. Alternative is to keep spending trillions of $ and to recoup that cost, tax more american citizens or american companies. So like I said, withdraw from endless wars and focus on domestic economy.

  22. Douglas Frost DeNunzio

    The way that the Palestinians happened.

  23. Aman

    Seeing these heartwenching scenes only makes me think how about how an entire nation’s people have been betrayed repeatedly. Being mere pawns without any agency whatsoever, they have been subjected to unimaginable horrors- livelihoods destroyed, communities broken, dreams shattered and loved ones brutalised in front of their very eyes.
    Over the past 30 years, they have endured living in a nation that could not even afford them basic needs- sustenance, dignity and safety.
    ...

    Seeing these heartwenching scenes only makes me think how about how an entire nation’s people have been betrayed repeatedly. Being mere pawns without any agency whatsoever, they have been subjected to unimaginable horrors- livelihoods destroyed, communities broken, dreams shattered and loved ones brutalised in front of their very eyes.
    Over the past 30 years, they have endured living in a nation that could not even afford them basic needs- sustenance, dignity and safety.
    And what have they gotten in return? Being left at the mercy of depraved and sycophant regime that will inflect the most unimaginable horrors on them.
    These are not political questions but human ones- what did they do to deserve this and how can we as a global community watch this injustice unfold in front of our very eyes?
    Every day we are preached about how we need to be inclusive and empathetic.
    And yet, it is these so-called “leaders” who have turned their back on an entire nation and condemned them to doom!
    What does this say about us as a society?

    1. JohnRossa

      Sounds like you just described what the US did to the Native American Indians, Japanese Americans during WW2, and countless others ethnic groups in the US alone. Why bother to go overseas when we can do it stateside!

    2. Clem

      Thank you finally for a sensible comment. Everyone is just discussing politics when this is first and foremost a human tragedy. I cannot even imagine what these people are going through and feeling right now, it's very hard to watch.

  24. JohnRossa

    Unless you're Tom Cruise with a large stunt crew supporting you, I would strongly advise folks not to hang onto planes. The fall won't hurt you. It's the landing part..........

  25. Evan

    Frankly, I don't blame either Trump or Biden. We've been there for 20 years supposedly "training" an Afghan military. After our departure, the Taliban take over the country in a week and the sitting Afghan president conveniently flees.

    Where was this military we supposedly trained? Obviously they weren't fighting the Taliban. To me, if the Afghan military won't fight the Taliban, then our American men and women shouldn't either. At one point, the Afghan people...

    Frankly, I don't blame either Trump or Biden. We've been there for 20 years supposedly "training" an Afghan military. After our departure, the Taliban take over the country in a week and the sitting Afghan president conveniently flees.

    Where was this military we supposedly trained? Obviously they weren't fighting the Taliban. To me, if the Afghan military won't fight the Taliban, then our American men and women shouldn't either. At one point, the Afghan people have to decide their own fate.

    1. JohnRossa

      Agreed 100%. Why is the US always called upon to have our people shed their blood for other nations?

    2. Oke

      Because US has an issue minding it’s own freaking business. No one asked US to save Afghanistan, it was invaded in the name of “national security” just like how Charlie Wilson armed illiterate, unemployed and impoverished Afghans in the name of “saving the democracy”. Please read US history post world war 2. It has been the most violent country in the world. US’ motto is, for US to be at peace, the world must be...

      Because US has an issue minding it’s own freaking business. No one asked US to save Afghanistan, it was invaded in the name of “national security” just like how Charlie Wilson armed illiterate, unemployed and impoverished Afghans in the name of “saving the democracy”. Please read US history post world war 2. It has been the most violent country in the world. US’ motto is, for US to be at peace, the world must be at war.

      Whatever is happening is both Trump’s and Biden’s fault. One started and the other finished. This has been another gem in US’ foreign policy

    3. MKLDH

      Why? Because it's the US that INVADED Afghanistan in the name of American national security. Things we did in the past will have consequences, in case you don't know that.

    4. Emily

      The US was not asked to go to Afghanistan to liberate its people. The US went there to dismantle the Al-Qaeda for its own security interests. The Al-Qaeda were supported by the Taliban, so weakening the Taliban was a priority. The question should be: why is the US so invested in spreading its flavor of "democracy" around the world?

      The answer is simple: It has no interest in liberating the people of any country....

      The US was not asked to go to Afghanistan to liberate its people. The US went there to dismantle the Al-Qaeda for its own security interests. The Al-Qaeda were supported by the Taliban, so weakening the Taliban was a priority. The question should be: why is the US so invested in spreading its flavor of "democracy" around the world?

      The answer is simple: It has no interest in liberating the people of any country. It is there to make money from rebuilding a fallen country and from conducting the business of war.

      To date, the US has never actually succeeded in any of its foreign campaigns since WW2. Even that was a joint affair with the European and Asian allies.

  26. Creditian

    Saigon 2021

    That’s what you expected for when you voted Biden.

    1. AGrumpyOldMan_GA

      I am sure the Afghanis are happy since Biden at least doesn't rage tweet mean things!

  27. Elizabeth

    Are you all kidding? Trump brokered the deal to leave Afghanistan. And you all loved the troops coming home. Stay in a lane. Biden didn’t do this. Trump did.

    1. Another Lump

      Do you really believe that Biden had no choice but to follow Trump's plans? He certainly didn't when it came to illegal immigration, or really just about anything else. Biden owns this disaster(and all the other disasters he has unleashed), and you're disingenuous, delusional, or both to suggest otherwise.

    2. Eskimo

      Under your same logic, Trump vaccinated Americans not Biden?
      Maybe Trump did a good job after all. Since Trump ordered the vaccines and Biden allowed the Delta variant to spread.

      And I quote @David verbatim.
      "Bottom line though is that this happened under Biden's watch. He owns it, no matter how much he tries to deflect blame. He's the president now, not Trump."

    3. MoJoe

      It's true that Trump kicked off the process for a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. But from reports I read, he tapped the brakes on it a bit following pushback from the Pentagon. In any case, Biden has been POTUS for seven months and could have stopped, modified, or even reversed plans to withdraw if he wanted to.

      The issue/problem is less in the U.S. decision to withdraw than with the (tragically) poor planning and execution...

      It's true that Trump kicked off the process for a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. But from reports I read, he tapped the brakes on it a bit following pushback from the Pentagon. In any case, Biden has been POTUS for seven months and could have stopped, modified, or even reversed plans to withdraw if he wanted to.

      The issue/problem is less in the U.S. decision to withdraw than with the (tragically) poor planning and execution by the U.S. government. As posted by a commenter on another site, the U.S. could/should have kept its large (military) Bagram Air Base open until *after* U.S. diplomats and civilians were evacuated from the country. Now the U.S. military is having to rush back in to Afghanistan to pull off an 11th hour rescue/evacuation.

      There are plenty of criticisms that I had of Trump and his administration, but the clown-show management and execution of the U.S. withdrawal appears by all public accounts to be a major cluster. Which is on Biden.

    4. AGrumpyOldMan_GA

      Right because Biden did not have the power to have undone anything that Trump did on this right? He undid a lot of other things that Trump did well (not that Trump is blameless here...I can be objective on that point unlke some people).

  28. Susan

    It's totally Saigon 2.0 and heartbreaking to see. I left Vietnam at the falling of the country as the US exited and it was ruthless to try and escape. I can only imagine what these folks will also endure.

  29. Jon clause

    Yeah Pete, the people trying to flee are just the Christians so no biggie right

  30. Endre

    RCH871 (a USAF C-17) brought 800(!) souls on a single flight out of Kabul, heading to Qatar.

    1. Never In Doubt

      You could follow the C-17 on Flight Radar 24 yesterday!

    2. Eskimo

      Yes, and if they were some "airline" flight crew onboard, they could have duct taped at least a 100 more children on the cabin interior.

    3. JohnRossa

      Their kids are small, so I'm pretty sure 200 could have easily been duct-taped.

    4. JBR

      Endre, what really matters is if those 800 souls (in reality 640 souls) paid cash for their flight or got onboard with USAF points.

  31. Shawn

    Ben - what is the point of this post given that the comments will immediately go into political. It’s the fall of Saigon 2.0.

    From what I hear, the taliban volunteered (cough were told) to allow us to take over ATC and the airport in Kabul so hopefully this improves the absolute chaos we’re seeing.

    The taliban from what I hear, want these people out anyways so hopefully with us taking control more rescue...

    Ben - what is the point of this post given that the comments will immediately go into political. It’s the fall of Saigon 2.0.

    From what I hear, the taliban volunteered (cough were told) to allow us to take over ATC and the airport in Kabul so hopefully this improves the absolute chaos we’re seeing.

    The taliban from what I hear, want these people out anyways so hopefully with us taking control more rescue aircraft can get in and get people out.

    Should we have had a better plan? Probably. Did anyone expect the afghan army to fold in a week? I don’t think so. But without camping out for the next millennia and spending countless dollars the result was inevitable.

    1. EC2

      It’s not the fall of Saigon 2.0. There was a peace agreement in 73. Nixon said he would go back in full force if the North Vietnamese violated the treaty. After Nixon’s resignation in 74 the North launched a major offensive. About 8 months after that was the fall of Saigon at the end of April 1975. The Afghanistan government and army (if you want to call it that) folded quicker than a lawn chair...

      It’s not the fall of Saigon 2.0. There was a peace agreement in 73. Nixon said he would go back in full force if the North Vietnamese violated the treaty. After Nixon’s resignation in 74 the North launched a major offensive. About 8 months after that was the fall of Saigon at the end of April 1975. The Afghanistan government and army (if you want to call it that) folded quicker than a lawn chair in a hurricane. Heads need to roll in the Pentagon. They should have had all Americans and Afghans that supported us out first. We should be out of Afghanistan, but this is an embarrassment they way it’s unfolding.

    2. derek

      It's worse than the fall of Saigon. South Vietnam did not fall in 6 days like Afghanistan. Saigon did not fall in 2 days like Kabul. The US politicians were hell bent on exit by September 2021 without preparing. And you expect the politicians to do a good job if there is universal health care controlled by politicians? A better question is if you want Afghan health care in the US.

    3. Alan

      The State Department is as much to blame as anyone. 20 years and they hardly won anyone's heart and mind.

    4. Never In Doubt

      Shawn, silly question!

      The point of this post, like every post, is engagement leading to potential ad/referral link clicks.

    5. Shawn

      I asked rhetorically. Which is also why I find myself coming to this site less and less. It’s less an out travel and more about tmz or utter nonsense.

    6. Eskimo

      @Shawn

      To think of it, why would anyone want to allow Taliban to take control of ATC. Last time that we had affiliates of Taliban taking control of planes, we had 9/11.

    7. Shawn

      At this point it’s their country. We took control of the airport to help with the mass evacuations. But it will certainly be under taliban control once we leave. Like I said earlier, from what I heard the taliban wants these people out.

      I think you’re thinking of al qaeda. Has the taliban terrorized the sky. I don’t think so but could be wrong.

      The sky isn’t falling. The world isn’t less unsafe...

      At this point it’s their country. We took control of the airport to help with the mass evacuations. But it will certainly be under taliban control once we leave. Like I said earlier, from what I heard the taliban wants these people out.

      I think you’re thinking of al qaeda. Has the taliban terrorized the sky. I don’t think so but could be wrong.

      The sky isn’t falling. The world isn’t less unsafe (yet). Endless occupation isn’t the answer. They never wanted us there and our purpose there was to root out terroism. We did what we could. The Afghan army folded like wet toilet paper. And that’s with us backing them for 20 years. It’s a tribal country who unfortunately didn’t want to rule itself. This is what happens.

      And I said Saigon 2.0 because this pictorially is just like Saigon. We also had a treaty with the taliban and told them and continue to do so that there will be dire consequences for meddling. That’s probably why they are letting us evacuate.

      Because they don’t want to have to rename Kabul rubble.

  32. Robert

    President Biden clearly thought about none of this. Many of these people will die at the hands of the Taliban for being traitors.

    1. Pete

      This withdrawal was first negotiated by his predecessor.

      You can take all the pictures you want of the airport. For each person at the airport there are dozens in the cities either happy or indifferent to the Taliban takeover. The US has no business being in the middle of this.

      I hope you Robert will be amongst the first to volunteer to go back and help keep the peace. I assume you are for endless occupation and war.

    2. Luke

      I'm hoping airlines like United/American doesnt make this closing of Afghan airspace an excuse to shutdown nonstop flights to India as they did a couple years ago when India/Pakistan was fighting and Pakistani airspace was shutdown to India bound flights causing longer routing.

      Can already see how UA801 from Newark to Delhi is making a circle around Afghanistan and probably going through some very high mountain ranges in the Himalayas into India. It should instead...

      I'm hoping airlines like United/American doesnt make this closing of Afghan airspace an excuse to shutdown nonstop flights to India as they did a couple years ago when India/Pakistan was fighting and Pakistani airspace was shutdown to India bound flights causing longer routing.

      Can already see how UA801 from Newark to Delhi is making a circle around Afghanistan and probably going through some very high mountain ranges in the Himalayas into India. It should instead go through Iran then turn into Pakistan to the south of Afghanistan!

    3. Hiro

      It does seem to pass through Wakhan Corridor which is still part of Afghanistan. Also, US carriers don't fly over Iran.

    4. Scott

      President Biden claimed that it was his withdrawal, with Kamala Harris advising.

    5. David

      Bottom line though is that this happened under Biden's watch. He owns it, no matter how much he tries to deflect blame. He's the president now, not Trump. And on that subject, why didn't Obama and Biden do something when they were in charge for eight years?

    6. David

      @Other David

      You realize the US-Taliban agreement was negotiated under Trump right? And that the original withdrawal date was May 1st, not Sept. 11th, 2021? What exactly are you blaming Biden for; the withdrawal agreement with Taliban that he didn't sign, or the withdrawal he already delayed to presumably make the transition orderly? I suspect your issue with Biden is that he's a) a democrat and b) doesn't have a time machine.

    7. David

      The truth is most Republicans trying to paint this as Biden's cross to bear has no interest in reality. Look up The War In Afghanistan: A Polling Post-Mortem and it becomes clear: Americans want to leave Afghanistan. This is true for both Democrats, indepedents, and military households. Republicans are 85% for "following Trump's policies", which is withdrawal (he signed the deal). But it's clear the individuals here aren't critiquing Biden's policies or basing their opinions...

      The truth is most Republicans trying to paint this as Biden's cross to bear has no interest in reality. Look up The War In Afghanistan: A Polling Post-Mortem and it becomes clear: Americans want to leave Afghanistan. This is true for both Democrats, indepedents, and military households. Republicans are 85% for "following Trump's policies", which is withdrawal (he signed the deal). But it's clear the individuals here aren't critiquing Biden's policies or basing their opinions on any sort of facts, they're critiquing Biden because he's a Democrat.

    8. Jo

      He doesn’t even know what he’s doing

    9. Josh G.

      Assigning blame before all of the facts are known is just plain silly.

      What we do know is that our senior military command was confident that the Afghani military was sufficiently prepared to manage any incursion by the Taliban. They were disastrously wrong.

      It is without question that did not help that Trump permitted the release of 5,000 Taliban insurgents:

      "The release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, which the United States agreed to in a February...

      Assigning blame before all of the facts are known is just plain silly.

      What we do know is that our senior military command was confident that the Afghani military was sufficiently prepared to manage any incursion by the Taliban. They were disastrously wrong.

      It is without question that did not help that Trump permitted the release of 5,000 Taliban insurgents:

      "The release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, which the United States agreed to in a February (2020) deal with the insurgents that also began the phased withdrawal of American troops, faced opposition from the Afghan government, which is holding the prisoners. After prolonged pressure from the Trump administration, Mr. Ghani released 4,600 prisoners from a list provided by the Taliban but called for consultations over 400, who he said were accused or convicted of major crimes, including murder, that were beyond his authority to pardon."

      Trump messed up and Biden may have made it worse.

      But there is plenty of blame to go around. You should consider waiting for all of the facts before you make broad, unfounded statements.

      Or not. It's up to you whether you want to deal with facts.

    10. AGrumpyOldMan_GA

      "Trump messed up and Biden may have made it worse."

      This precisely. As to letting the Afghani people control their fate, I can see that to some degree. But remember, this is a country is a lot of corruption and systems that are not as stable as ours for allowing the people to exert their will. It's easy for us to say that when we do not have the circumstances on the ground there. Also,...

      "Trump messed up and Biden may have made it worse."

      This precisely. As to letting the Afghani people control their fate, I can see that to some degree. But remember, this is a country is a lot of corruption and systems that are not as stable as ours for allowing the people to exert their will. It's easy for us to say that when we do not have the circumstances on the ground there. Also, part of the need to be in place there was not just to "nation build." In keeping the Taliban at bay, it helps to keep terrorists from having a fertile ground from which to attack us. As fast as the Taliban too over, it's completely realistic that terrorists will begin breeding very rapidly, potentially creating new dangers for the western world in short order.

    11. Tom

      ...Don't get fooled again, no, no
      Yeah
      Meet the new boss
      Same as the old boss

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Evan

Frankly, I don't blame either Trump or Biden. We've been there for 20 years supposedly "training" an Afghan military. After our departure, the Taliban take over the country in a week and the sitting Afghan president conveniently flees. Where was this military we supposedly trained? Obviously they weren't fighting the Taliban. To me, if the Afghan military won't fight the Taliban, then our American men and women shouldn't either. At one point, the Afghan people have to decide their own fate.

Pete

This withdrawal was first negotiated by his predecessor. You can take all the pictures you want of the airport. For each person at the airport there are dozens in the cities either happy or indifferent to the Taliban takeover. The US has no business being in the middle of this. I hope you Robert will be amongst the first to volunteer to go back and help keep the peace. I assume you are for endless occupation and war.

JohnRossa

Agreed 100%. Why is the US always called upon to have our people shed their blood for other nations?

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