Biden says he’s seen no ‘questioning’ of Afghan policy by allies – despite angry scenes in UK parliament

·2 min read
Former British Prime Minister Theresa May speaking during an extraordinary session of parliament called to discuss the collapse of the Afghan government, in the House of Commons (AFP via Getty Images)
Former British Prime Minister Theresa May speaking during an extraordinary session of parliament called to discuss the collapse of the Afghan government, in the House of Commons (AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden said he has seen no questioning of the United States’ credibility amid the chaos unfolding in Afghanistan despite numerous elected officials throughout Europe voicing objections.

“I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world,” Mr Biden said in a news conference on Friday. “Matter of fact, the exact opposite I’ve gotten.”

But despite Mr Biden’s words, plenty of European politicians have objected.

In the UK, former prime minister Theresa May was among dozens who criticised Mr Biden’s decision to follow through with former president Donald Trump’s exit plan from Afghanistan.

Speaking in the House of Commons during a heated debate on Wednesday, she said: “It was a unilateral decision of President Trump to do a deal with the Taliban that has led to this withdrawal.

“What we’ve seen from the scenes in Afghanistan is that it hasn’t been alright on the night, so I say that there are many in Afghanistan who fear not just that their lives will be irrevocably changed for the worse, but who fear for their lives.”

Similarly, Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, himself a veteran of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and chair of the Commons foreign affairs committee, told The Independent earlier this week: “Blame shifting in the face of the predicted disaster that is Afghanistan today is extraordinary.”

Following Mr Biden’s speech on the situation in Afghanistan on Monday, British Conservative MP Simon Clarke posted on social media: "The more you reflect, the more you realise the speech POTUS gave last night was grotesque.

"An utter repudiation of the America so many of us have admired so deeply all our lives – the champion of liberty and democracy and the guardian of what's right in the world."

Former Tory MP Rory Stewart, who ran for the leadership of the party in 2019, also described the speech to The Independent as "hollowed, devoid of empathy, and naively pessimistic".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not explicitly criticise Mr Biden but did call the events “bitter, dramatic and awful,” according to The Washington Post.

But Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the German parliament’s foreign relations committee, was more vocal in his criticism, Politico reported.

“I say this with a heavy heart and with horror over what is happening, but the early withdrawal was a serious and far-reaching miscalculation by the current administration,” he said.

“This does fundamental damage to the political and moral credibility of the West.”

Read More

‘Where is Global Britain on streets of Kabul?’: Theresa May condemns UK failure to form alternative alliance after US withdrawal

Conservatives attack Joe Biden’s ‘grotesque’ Afghanistan speech as ‘devoid of empathy’

Allies embraced Biden. Did Kabul lay bare "great illusion"?