President Joe Biden predicted in July that a Taliban takeover was “not inevitable” following the United States’ troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
On July 8, Biden defended his administration’s plans to withdraw the remaining American troops from Afghanistan, telling reporters that he believed the the Afghan government and security forces had the personnel, training and equipment necessary to ensure that the Taliban would not take over the country. (RELATED: ‘One Of The Ultimate Embarrassments Of My Lifetime’: Kilmeade Flames Biden For Going Home While Afghanistan Crumbles)
“The Afghan government and leadership has to come together,” Biden said. “They clearly have the capacity to sustain the government in place. The question is, will they generate the kind of cohesion to do it?”
Biden went on to say that adequate forces and equipment were already in place, adding that he intended for the United States to continue to aid the Afghan government — just not with boots on the ground.
Biden then noted that the government would likely have to find a way to make peace with the Taliban, saying that a unified government over the whole country was “highly unlikely.”
One reporter asked whether a Taliban takeover was inevitable once U.S. forces cleared the region, and Biden said it was not.
Biden in July: No, a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is not inevitable. pic.twitter.com/veJNSrIUCM
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 11, 2021
“No, it is not, because 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. It is not inevitable,” Biden said.
Just over one month later, amid concern that the Taliban would overtake the capital city of Kabul, the Biden administration announced plans to send 3,000 troops to Afghanistan in an effort to help the evacuation of some officials from the U.S. embassy in Kabul.
In 8 days, the Taliban took control of 16 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and 18 of its provincial capitals. With the collapse of Ghazni and Logar, the path to Kabul is open. By @LongWarJournal
This map keeps changing fast. Am working on a time lapse version, it is … depressing. pic.twitter.com/BBo1EPvLL3
— Bill Roggio (@billroggio) August 13, 2021
In the weeks following the United States’ drawdown, the Taliban recaptured a number of provincial capitals including Kandahar.