No easy way out: Biden squeezed between Taliban and allies
NATO allies can ask, but even after a humiliating defeat, it is still up to the United States to decide whether to prolong evacuations of expats and asylum seekers from Kabul Airport. The UK, France and Germany need US support for their own rescue missions. The Taliban call the August 31st deadline a red line. Wavering will not upend the Atlantic Alliance, not when one member holds the lion's share of the troops and hardware.
And no matter how much the departure itself may have been botched, Joe Biden's had enough of Afghanistan and he is not changing his mind. After Bosnia and Libya, Afghanistan is again a reminder that it's the US that calls the shots. Will Europe and the UK, which saw with Donald Trump how the Atlantic Alliance can sometimes pivot on a dime, rethink defence policy? Is it the end of the post-Cold War Pax Americana where one superpower makes the decisions?
And are those smaller nations any better at understanding faraway conflicts, even in a world that's gotten smaller? The jury's still out on France, which is currently grappling with its own emboldened insurgency in former West African colony Mali. What will 20 years of Western intervention in Afghanistan teach us?
Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.
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