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Tipsheet

9 Times the Biden Admin Said Afghanistan Wouldn't Fall to the Taliban

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Monday marks one year since the Taliban seized control of Kabul, Afghanistan, an event that escalated the chaos of President Biden's withdrawal from the country that went from "everything's fine" to complete, deadly catastrophe in a matter of days. 

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Despite repeated assertions and reiterations from President Biden, the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department that Afghanistan would not quickly fall to the Taliban — assurances that defied reality as Taliban fighters toppled city after city across the country — that's exactly what happened. 

So, one year since Biden — who repeatedly pledged that "the buck" stops with him but has yet to take any responsibility for his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan — and his administration were proven catastrophically wrong, here are nine times they misled Americans and the world.

July 2, 2021 — Remarks on the June Jobs Report

When asked in early July about the ability of Afghanistan's government to remain in power after the U.S. withdrawal, Biden explained there was nothing to worry about. "I met with the Afghan government here in the White House, in the Oval. I think they have the capacity to be able to sustain the government," Biden said before rebuffing questions on the topic. "I want to talk about happy things, man."

In the same briefing, Biden was asked about intelligence reports that Kabul could be threatened by the Taliban within six months and what the United States could do "to keep the capital safe." Biden's response? "I’m not going to answer any more quick question[s] on Afghanistan."

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July 8, 2021 — President Biden on the Drawdown of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan

When asked whether a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan had become inevitable, Biden flatly answered "no, it is not." The president explained "the Afghan troops have 300,000 well-equipped — as well-equipped as any army in the world — and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban" as his proof that the country's fall to Taliban forces "is not inevitable."

Biden tripled down, saying "I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and more re- — more competent in terms of conducting war" and insisted the Afghan government "clearly have the capacity to sustain the government in place."

When asked whether Biden saw any parallels between his withdrawal from Afghanistan and what happened in Vietnam, the president said "none whatsoever — zero" before stating "there’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable," Biden insisted. "The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely," the president maintained. 

July 9, 2021 — Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki

When asked whether the White House was planning for a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Psaki reiterated that "the President does not believe that it is inevitable."

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July 16, 2021 — Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki

As the Taliban toppled a growing number of provinces, Psaki again tried to clarify that the President was "conveying" that the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban "it is not inevitable." Trying to point out America's support, Psaki reminded reporters that the U.S. "provided a range of — a great deal of support, supplies, training."

August 6, 2021 — Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki

Again, Psaki explained that President Biden "feels and has stated that the Afghan government and the Afghan National Defense Forces have the training, equipment, and numbers to prevail" in its fight against the Taliban." 

August 10, 2021 — White House with Jen Psaki

"The President continues to believe that it is not inevitable that the Taliban takes over Kabul or the country and that they need to show political will at this point to push back," Psaki again claimed less than one week before Kabul was seized by Taliban forces.

August 11, 2021 —Pentagon Press Briefing with John Kirby

no potential outcome has to be inevitable, including the fall of Kabul

August 13, 2021 — Pentagon Press Briefing with John Kirby

Just two days before Afghanistan's capital fell to the Taliban, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby again insisted that "Kabul is not—right now—in an imminent threat environment."

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Some 48 hours later, Kabul had fallen to the Taliban, completing the terrorists' takeover of Afghanistan that the White House, Pentagon, and State Department had said was anything but "inevitable." And despite Biden's flat denial that there were any parallels between his withdrawal and what happened in Vietnam, U.S. diplomats were ferried off the embassy roof by helicopter — exactly the scene he said wouldn't happen. 

The failure to understand the Taliban threat kicked off round the clock chaos that saw Americans left behind, Afghan citizens who helped the U.S. over our 20-year presence beaten at Taliban checkpoints, chaos on the airfield at Hamid Karzai International Airport, and an ISIS-K suicide bombing that claimed the lives of 13 U.S. service members and scores of Afghans trying to flee the "businesslike" Taliban, as the Biden administration described them. 

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