President Biden is insisting that America’s allies can still trust the US despite the catastrophic evacuation in Afghanistan, adding that it is the Taliban are going through an “existential crisis” over how they want to be viewed by the international community.
In the interview with ABC News, anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Biden about how adversaries and allies are discounting America’s commitments around the globe and as a partner of NATO, following the withdrawal that left thousands of Americans and allies at the mercy of the Taliban.
“We have kept every commitment. We made a sacred commitment to Article Five that if in fact anyone were to invade or take action against our NATO allies, we would respond. Same with Japan, same with South Korea, same with Taiwan. It’s not even comparable to talk about that,” Biden said, referring to the article that stipulates that an attack on any member of the alliance is an attack on all allies.
But Stephanopoulos said China is already telling Taiwan “See? You can’t count on the Americans.”
“Look, George, the idea that there’s a fundamental difference between Taiwan, South Korea, NATO. We are in a situation where they are entities we’ve made agreements with based not on a civil war they’re having on that island or in South Korea, but on an agreement where they have a unity government that, in fact, is trying to keep bad guys from doing bad things to them,” the president said in the interview.
Stephanopoulos pressed on whether the US can keep its promises to its allies.
“Who’s gonna say that? Look, before I made this decision, I met with all our allies, our NATO allies in Europe. They agreed. We should be getting out,” Biden said.
The president went on to say that he would ramp up diplomatic efforts with the US’ global partners to “make sure we have a coherent view of how we’re going to deal from this point on.”
He was also asked about whether the Taliban that have now taken over Afghanistan is the same radical group of fighters who took over the country in 1996 and instituted sharia law, confined women to their homes and carried out public executions.
“I think they’re going through sort of an existential crisis about do they want to be recognized by the international community as being a legitimate government? I’m not sure they do,” Biden said.
But Stephanopoulos said the Taliban care more about their beliefs.
“Well, they do. But they also care about whether they have food to eat, whether they have an income … that they can make any money and run an economy. They care about whether or not they can hold together the society that they in fact say they care so much about,” he said.