Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States reportedly called on America to step up its “extremely limited” air campaign against the Taliban despite White House insisting Afghan forces “have what they need “to fight against the resurgent militant group.
Adela Raz’s comments on Wednesday, according to NewsNation Now, come as the Taliban seized their 10th provincial capital amid an ongoing blitz across the war-torn country. A few days earlier, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby had vowed that “it will not always be feasible, but where and when it is possible, we will continue to support them with airstrikes.”
“But it’s doable because you did it after 9/11 and it was effective,” Raz told NewsNation Now in response to what Kirby said. “You took control of the whole country in two weeks. And I was there.”
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The ambassador calls for more American air support – even after the departure of all American troops – and considers that the current level of airstrikes is “extremely limited”, adds NewsNation Now.
“We also have to be careful not to put all of our eggs in one basket assuming there is a political solution,” Raz said. “We need to prepare for this possibility – what if there is no political solution?
“I am not for war. I grew up in war, I lost my loved ones and I don’t want them,” she continued. “But it is a difficult time. I think for every Afghan it is difficult because we do not advocate war, but there is a time when we have to defend our country and ourselves.”
The White House insisted on Wednesday that the Afghan forces “have what they need” to fight the Taliban, while the United States estimates that the capital of Afghanistan could fall in the next 90 days.
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Pentagon officials told Fox News that the intelligence community updated its assessment of Afghanistan after the Taliban embarked on the conquest of provincial capitals.
“If I talk about the fall of Kabul, then I break my hopes,” Raz told Newsnation Now when asked about the Afghan capital.
But the White House maintained on Wednesday that the United States was cooperating with Afghan forces, implementing its “training, advice and assistance approach.”
“We are and will continue to provide close air support,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
“Ultimately, the Afghan national defense and security forces have the equipment, manpower and training to respond,” Psaki continued. “They have what they need.”
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She added: “What they need to determine is if they have the political will to fight back, and if they have the capacity to come together as leaders to fight back, and that’s really where it is at this stage. ”
President Biden has pledged to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by August 31, but Psaki maintained that he had made numerous requests for assistance and humanitarian assistance for the people in Afghanistan as part of the of its budget proposals.
Brooke Singman of Fox News contributed to this report.
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