President Joe Biden downplayed concerns that the chaotic U.S. military withdrawal and ongoing evacuation in Afghanistan would damage his administration’s credibility around the world.
“I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world,” Biden told reporters during a Friday press conference, adding that the “exact opposite” has happened.
Biden added that he’s spoken with the United States’ NATO allies and that other senior White House officials have spoken with their counterparties in recent days.
A number of world leaders and NATO partners have expressed shock or even criticized the United States in recent days over how the withdrawal is being handled. The UK Parliament this week voted to hold Biden himself in contempt for the Afghanistan pullout fracas.
“The American decision to withdraw was not just a mistake—it was an avoidable mistake, from President Trump’s flawed deal with the Taliban to President Biden’s decision to proceed, and to proceed in such a disastrous way,” said Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey, according to The Telegraph.
“To see their commander in chief call into question the courage of men I fought with, to claim that they ran, is shameful,” said another Parliament member, Tom Tugendhat, the Tory chairman.
And German politician Armin Laschet, Chancellor Angel Merkel’s heir apparent, described the Afghan situation as “the greatest debacle that NATO has seen since its foundation” and called it “an epochal change that we are facing.”
This week, Biden has received significant bipartisan criticism over how his administration handled the evacuation and pullout, leaving more than 15,000 Americans in the country as the Taliban terrorist group took over Kabul on Sunday. Scenes of violence and chaos have been recorded at the Kabul airport, where U.S. military evacuation flights are ongoing.
All the while, Biden has received flack for not publicly admitting responsibility while going on vacation at Camp David and reportedly his home state of Delaware this week.