“What the president conveyed publicly and certainly privately as well repeatedly to Afghan leaders is that it’s important that the leaders in Afghanistan do exactly that — lead, show the country they are ready to continue the fight,” Psaki insisted.
Asked if Biden had been trying to push a “false narrative” in the conversation with Ghani, Psaki said she wouldn’t “go into the details of a private conversation.” But she stressed that there was a “collapse in leadership” in the Afghan government long before Ghani fled the country.
A transcript of the call between the two leaders obtained by Reuters showed Biden could well have anticipated the Taliban was capable of completing its takeover of the country.
But neither Biden nor Ghani appeared aware of how quickly the country would fall to the insurgents, who three weeks later, on Aug. 15, stormed Kabul, prompting the Afghan leader to take off.
“We are going to continue to fight hard, diplomatically, politically, economically, to make sure your government not only survives, but is sustained and grows,” Biden vowed to Ghani.
During much of the roughly 14-minute conversation, Biden emphasized what he saw as Afghanistan’s “perception” problem.