biden: Joe Biden top aides discouraged abrupt Afghan pullout, book says – Times of India

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden‘s top cupboard members unsuccessfully tried to dissuade him from pulling all US troops from Afghanistan, hoping he would leverage the withdrawal to hunt a political settlement, a brand new book says.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pushed for a slower drawdown to encourage negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan authorities, in response to “Peril,” a forthcoming book by famed investigative journalist Bob Woodward co-authored along with his Washington Post colleague Robert Costa.
Blinken, a longtime aide to Biden who had beforehand staunchly backed his plan to finish the 20-12 months battle, known as the president from Brussels after listening to issues from NATO ministers in a March assembly, the book says.
“His new recommendation was to extend the mission with US troops for a while to see if it could yield a political settlement. Buy time for negotiations,” it says, in response to a passage revealed by CNN forward of the book’s launch subsequent week.
Biden, who advocated ending America’s longest battle a decade earlier as vice chairman, was undeterred and defined in colourful language that he felt generals sturdy-armed former president Barack Obama into staying in Afghanistan.
Biden finally mentioned he would withdraw remaining troops by August 31, saying that setting circumstances would solely perpetuate an “endless war” wherein the United States had achieved its aims.
Biden’s determination was well-liked with the general public, however he has since come beneath criticism because the Taliban — ousted by a US invasion 20 years earlier — got here again to energy in a matter of days because the Western-backed authorities and navy folded.
Blinken, chatting with the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday, mentioned that NATO allies had introduced “various perspectives” in his conferences however finally backed the pullout.
The earlier administration of Donald Trump had set a May 1 withdrawal date in an settlement with the Taliban.
The NATO allies agreed “that the alternative should we choose to stay was for the Taliban to resume attacks not just on us but on our NATO partners and allies, as well as to engage in this countrywide offensive that we’ve seen to retake the major cities — in effect, to reup the war,” Blinken mentioned.
Instead, they “all unanimously endorsed the proposition that we would leave together.”
Allies together with Britain and Germany have overtly voiced concern over selections on Afghanistan, however none believed they might keep a presence with out the US navy.

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