On Sunday the fearsome jihadists claimed the prize of Kabul, as former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. The militants’ stunning victory has caused shock and disbelief around the world, as fears grow the Taliban will once again provide sanctuary and support to fellow extremists, ISIS and al-Qaeda. John Bolton, who served as a National Security Adviser to Donald Trump from 2018-19, believes the Taliban victory will have serious implications for Western nations in their fight against Islamic terrorism.
In an op-ed for the Daily Telegraph, he wrote: “Worse, the collapse of Afghanistan’s national military is a debacle for America, Britain and our allies, posing a potential new world-wide threat.
“If, as now seems certain, al-Qaeda, Isil and other terrorist groups take sanctuary in the country, we will have effectively returned to a pre-9/11 terrorist environment.
“9/11’s twentieth anniversary was already heavy on our minds, and the confluence of events only makes the memories starker.”
The former US ambassador to the United Nations believes some of the blame for the spectacular collapse of the Ghani regime must be shared by his former employer, Donald Trump.
He claimed history would label the US pullout “the Trump-Biden policy” and blamed the capitulation of the Afghan army on the “Trump-Biden withdrawal decisions.”
Yet he reserves most of his criticism for the Democratic President, whom he accuses of undermining America’s authority in the eyes of her enemies.
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The US President defended his decision to withdraw US troops on Monday, claiming it was the right decision to end the war which has lasted almost 20 years.
“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,” he said.
He added: “I will not mislead the American people by claiming that just a little more time in Afghanistan will make all the difference.”