Australia’s former ambassador to Israel has hit out at US President Joe Biden’s response to the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan.
Australia’s former ambassador to Israel has slammed US President Joe Biden’s response to the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan, saying he is unconvinced by his excuses for withdrawal.
Meanwhile Australia’s Immigration Minister, when Australia went to war in Afghanistan in the Howard goverment, Phillip Ruddock, has said he is “devastated”.
Dave Sharma, who is also a federal Liberal MP and international advisor to the Federal Government, appeared on the ABC’s Afternoon Briefing program, slamming the US exit, claiming he is “very disappointed” in Washington.
Meanwhile Mr Ruddock said “given the long association” he has with Afghanistan, he is “devastated in the way in which the events have unfolded as they have”.
“I do very much look at it with a sense of foreboding,” he said.
Mr Biden faces increasing criticism over the disorganised pullout of American troops after 20 years of US-led military intervention, defending the withdrawal while blaming Afghan forces whom he said were “not willing to fight for themselves”.
On Tuesday the Taliban moved quickly to restart the Afghan capital following their stunning takeover of Kabul and told government staff to return to work, though residents reacted cautiously and few women took to the streets, according to AFP.
In his first public appearance since the Islamist insurgents seized control of the country at the weekend, he admitted the Taliban advance had unfolded more quickly than expected.
But he heaped criticism on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government and insisted he had no regrets and emphasised US troops could not defend a nation whose leaders “gave up and fled”.
“We gave them every chance to determine their own future. We could not provide them with the will to fight for that future,” Mr Biden said in his address at the White House.
“American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”
Our current military mission in Afghanistan will be short in time and focused in its objectives: Get our people and our allies to safety as quickly as possible. pic.twitter.com/eSESK5QR09
Mr Sharma said he “did not think this day needed to come” and that the United States needed to maintain a “stabilising” presence in the region.
“Once the US started heading for the exit is when the morale of the Afghan national forces collapsed, they weren’t able to get their aircraft in the air, they weren’t able to service their helicopters, any number of other things they relied upon in the past.
“It gave the Taliban a huge amount of momentum.”
The United States had sent 6000 troops to ensure the safe evacuation of embassy staff, as well as Afghans who worked as interpreters or in other support roles.
Other governments, including France, Germany and Australia, also organised charter flights.
But yesterday, shocking scenes emerged after “chaos” erupted at Kabul International Airport, both from a stampede on the tarmac and horror from the sky.
Footage showed Afghans clamouring onto the side of the USAFC-17 and clinging on to its undercarriage as it struggled down the tarmac.
Mr Sharma said he was “surprised” by Mr Biden’s comments, saying he didn’t find his speech “particularly convincing.
“The US hasn’t been there (for Afghan forces). I didn’t find it a very convincing explanation or a convincing rationale for US actions in this instance.
“I’m very disappointed from what I’ve seen from Washington coming out of this crisis.”
“In Afghanistan, we were never going to create Singapore or Central Asia, but we also never wanted to leave a failed state or a state of deep civil war and I hope that’s not what results from this withdrawal.”