August 28, 2021

Underestimating the enemy: why Biden’s Afghanistan exit went so badly wrong

Source: The Financial Times

Journalist: James Politi

On July 8, Joe Biden stepped into the East Room of the White House to deliver a confident update on the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

The US military had left Bagram air base, the hub of operations during the two-decade old conflict, a few days earlier and the drawdown was “proceeding in a secure and orderly way”. Most importantly, no troops had “been lost”.

Biden said the Afghan military was “better trained, better equipped and more competent in terms of conducting war” than the Taliban, who were “highly unlikely” to end up “overrunning everything and owning the whole country”.

Read the full story and more from The Financial Times.


  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...