Joe Biden finally took a break from vacation at Camp David on Monday to address the state of Afghanistan following a nearly complete Taliban takeover amid U.S. troop withdrawal. But, the most noteworthy points from his speech are found in what he did not say during his remarks and his refusal to take questions.
After rising pressure to give a national address regarding the crisis in Afghanistan, where thousands of Americans remain stranded, Biden temporarily returned to the White House to update the public.
As to be expected from this administration, Biden blamed President Trump for the current situation in Afghanistan. Despite that it was Biden who oversaw the August troop withdrawal, ending the 20-year war, he criticized Trump’s original negotiations between the Taliban and Afghanistan government, and his original May troop withdrawal date.
Although he spent significant time blaming Trump, Biden ultimately agreed with his predecessor on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and justified his decision.
However, what Biden appears to be missing here is that Trump only disagreed with the way in which it was done.
Trump has repeatedly stated his plan was to enforce a conditional troop withdrawal from the country, while Biden did not implement any sort of contingency plan.
“It’s not that we left Afghanistan. It’s the grossly incompetent way we left!” Trump said in a Monday press release following Biden’s address.
Also notable, Biden did not address the current status of evacuations in Afghanistan aside from committing to continued “support” of withdrawal of American citizens, their families, and Afghans who worked alongside U.S. forces, leaving Americans wondering what is next for U.S. citizens stranded in the country.
Furthermore, Biden failed to address any miscalculations his administration made in how quickly the Taliban advanced to take power from the Afghan government, ultimately taking control of the entire country in just days.
Biden ended his conference without taking any questions and is currently en route to Camp David, according to his schedule.