Joe Biden, 78, has come under mounting pressure to withdraw all US military personal from Afghanistan by August 31, 2021, as he has claimed the US has done what it set out to do. At a G7 summit to be held this week, the President of America will tell the likes of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 57, and German chancellor Angela Merkel, 67, he will “see what he can do” about extending the deadline in an attempt to offer safe passage for those wanting to flee. A Taliban spokesperson has declared there will be huge consequences if the US leader extends the deadline but Mr Balls, 54, told ITV’s This Morning how he thought Biden would be more of a healer than creating a great divide.
Presenter and journalist Eamonn Holmes, 61, was interested to hear his guest’s view on the matter was.
The broadcaster said: “Why wouldn’t Biden, as a Democrat – he wouldn’t have agreed with [Donald] Trump’s policy at the time of withdrawal – why didn’t he see it through?”
Mr Balls replied as he tore apart the President: “I think that Biden himself, over 15 years, has been deeply sceptical of America’s involvement in Afghanistan.
“And there are stories of him storming out of meetings with the President of Afghanistan 15 years ago because of the feeling they were not grateful to America.
“I think American politics has become very America first on both sides of the debate and I think we were all hoping that President Biden would be a President who looked out more and seek to build alliances to work with others.”
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“And if that’s what we were hoping for, that has come crashing down in the last few months,” Mr Balls concluded on the matter.
It’s not just Mr Balls who has slammed Biden for his approach to withdrawing troops from the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, 68, has offered his take on the matter and has called the actions by the US as “dangerous and unnecessary”.
The former Labour Party leader claimed the President’s tactics have been driven by politics, rather than thinking strategically.
Mr Blair said: “The abandonment of Afghanistan and its people is tragic, dangerous, unnecessary, not in their interests and not in ours.
“If the West wants to shape the 21st Century it will take commitment. Through thick and thin. When it’s rough as well as easy. Making sure allies have confidence and opponents caution.
“It will require parts of the right in politics to understand that isolation in an interconnected world is self-defeating, and parts of the left to accept that intervention can sometimes be necessary to uphold our values.
“We need to draw up a list of incentives, sanctions, actions we can take including to protect the civilian population so the Taliban understand their actions will have consequences. This is urgent,” he posted on his website.
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Former President, Donald Trump, 75, has also hit out at his successor for “failing to evacuate” US nationals before troops were withdrawn.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “Afghanistan under Biden was not a withdrawal, it was a surrender. Will he apologise for the greatest tactical mistake in history, pulling the Military out before our citizens?
“Leaving Americans behind for death is an unforgivable dereliction of duty, which will go down in infamy.”
It was under the Trump administration a deal was struck with the Taliban to have the US completely withdraw from Afghanistan and this was made in February 2020.
Speaking with Sky News, a spokesperson for the Taliban, Dr Suhail Shaheen, has now hit back about the US delay.
“It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on August 31 they would withdraw all their military forces.
“So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that. If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations – the answer is no. Or there would be consequences.”
The UK Military Forces have been helping with the evacuation efforts, with 400 civilians having been evacuated from Kabul in the week ending August 13, 2021.
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.