Posted 1 year ago
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday blamed a failure of Afghan leadership for the swift collapse of the country’s Western-backed armed forces, but he conceded that the alliance must also address flaws in its military training program. In remarks that were very similiar to US President Joe Biden's arguement that the options were to drawn down or be trapped in a never ending occupation that has already spanned two decades.
Stoltenberg said the NATO allies had agreed to stand behind the U.S. deal with the Taliban last year on troop withdrawal, calling the decision to end the military mission a “serious dilemma.”
“We never intended to stay in Afghanistan forever,” he said. “Over the past few years, from over 100,000 troops we went down to less than 10,000 – and now to zero. But what we have seen in the last few weeks was a military and political collapse at a speed which had not been anticipated.”
Stoltenberg said in his remarks that he is deeply saddened over the Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan. He said NATO’s current focus is on ensuring the safe departure of personnel from allied and partner countries and the safe departure of Afghans who have helped NATO. He said parts of the Afghan army “fought bravely,” but that “ultimately, the Afghan political leadership failed to stand up to the Taliban and to achieve the peaceful solution that Afghans desperately wanted.”
“This failure of Afghan leadership led to the tragedy we are witnessing today,” said Stoltenberg, who over the years often insisted that the Taliban would only succeed at the negotiating table and never clinch victory on the battlefield.
Topic: World News
Tags: Afghanistan NATO Taliban