The head of the Taliban’s political wing presented the U.S. with an option to secure Kabul in the aftermath of President Ashraf Ghani’s hasty departure, but President Joe Biden’s administration declined the offer, a Saturday report said.
As Ghani fled the capital city of Kabul Aug. 15, leaving Afghanistan in limbo, senior U.S. military officials met with the Taliban’s Abdul Ghani Baradar in Doha, Qatar, to discuss the fate of the country, according to The Washington Post (WaPo).
“We have a problem,” Baradar said, according to a U.S. official that spoke to the WaPo on the condition of anonymity. “We have two options to deal with it: You [the U.S. military] take responsibility for securing Kabul or you have to allow us to do it.”
This report alleges that the head of the Taliban political wing offered to all but cede Kabul to the US and Biden declined. https://t.co/8jfs3fxNUr
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) August 29, 2021
Commander of the U.S. Central Command (USCC) Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., however, reportedly communicated to Baradar that the U.S. military’s only objective was to evacuate American citizens and Afghan allies out of Kabul, for which the airport was needed. (RELATED: Psaki Says Aug. 31 Is The ‘End Of The Mission,’ US Will Coordinate With Taliban To Get Americans Out After Deadline)
At the meeting, the two parties reportedly reached an agreement; the U.S. would control the Kabul airport until the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline, and the Taliban would advance into Kabul, despite an earlier deal with the U.S.-backed government of Afghanistan, according to WaPo.