Ex-Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani warned President Joe Biden of the Taliban’s rapid advance on the country
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has refused during a press briefing to address a report from Reuters that said US President Joe Biden pressured Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani during a July phone call to make false claims about the fight against the Taliban.
Ghani told Biden, “We are facing a full-scale invasion composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists.”
Ghani begged for U.S. air support. “What is crucial is, close air support . . . a very heavy reliance on air power.” The Afghan army was based on the U.S. model which relies on air support for enemy strikes, but the contractors who serviced Afghan aircraft had left, leaving the Afghan army exposed.
The U.S. president wanted to talk about how it looked. “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden said. “And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
Biden said the U.S. would provide aid if Ghani could project to the world that he “had a plan” for fighting the Taliban. He suggested that a press conference with Afghanistan’s prominent political figures backing a new military strategy “will change perception.”
Biden’s words indicated he didn’t anticipate the massive insurrection and collapse to come 23 days later..