Pentagon: Afghanistan Fell Because It Lacks Leadership

According to US Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby, there have been no Taliban attacks on US forces so far, and the US is working to evacuate its citizens from Afghanistan as swiftly and efficiently as possible.

  • John Kirby: The Afghan government collapsed due to a lack of leadership
    John Kirby: The Afghan government collapsed due to a lack of leadership

On Monday, US Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby stated that the Afghan government had collapsed due to a lack of leadership.

During a news conference, Kirby also noted that while Washington can fund, train, advise, and assist, it cannot construct a strong character – alluding to the Afghan government – and that the US cannot generate leadership for a government that lacks one. 

He went on to say that it is too early to evaluate Afghanistan's vulnerability to the threat of al-Qaeda and ISIS, but a reassessment is necessary especially after the recent developments.

Kirby emphasized that the US has not yet witnessed Taliban attacks on US soldiers or personnel and that it will not speculate on the need for US forces to stay in Kabul after the final withdrawal date, which is set to be at the end of this month.

In the meantime, the US military's primary objective is to secure the airport and evacuate the personnel, and the US will work as quickly and efficiently as possible to evacuate US civilians from Afghanistan, according to a US Department of State spokesman.

Kirby described the photos and videos from Afghanistan's attack on Kabul as "very concerning and disturbing." He went on to explain that the video footage of armed men shooting down a US C-17 plane is disturbing, but that its authenticity cannot be confirmed at this time.

The US still wants to maintain the option of resuming commercial flights in the airport, hoping that thousands of people would be evacuated daily.

Kirby further stated that the US Defense Department has no indication that the armed individuals who were shot dead in the airport were Taliban members or not. Yet, there is unconfirmed preliminary information that one US soldier was injured during that operation.

The US spokesman stated that navigations in the airport are expected to be resumed within the next hours, allowing more US troops to enter the country. The US does not want its military equipment to fall into the wrong hands, he added.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, met with Taliban officials in Doha on Sunday to urge them not to attack Kabul airport.

Moreover, commercial flights at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul were suspended earlier today “until further notice” to allow civil aviation to transport departing passengers.

Furthermore, according to local media, the airport administration has temporarily suspended commercial flights due to the turmoil and crowding caused by many travelers escpaing the situation.

Earlier, the Taliban announced capturing the Afghan presidential palace and entering it in Kabul following Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's departure from Afghanistan toward Tajikistan.

Resigned Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani announced that he fled the country to "avoid bloodshed," admitting that "The Taliban have won."

After capturing the Afghan Presidential palace and Ashraf Ghani's resignation, a Taliban official says the movement will soon declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Kabul.

The Kabul Assembly committee stated today that the Taliban Forces will be in charge of security and stability in the city.