WASHINGTON, September 1. /TASS/. The situation in Afghanistan won’t cause the resignation or impeachment of US President Joe Biden and is unlikely to result in a number of high-ranking members of the Washington administration stepping down. This opinion was expressed by Senior Fellow and Director of Research in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution Michael O’Hanlon in a conversation with a TASS correspondent on Tuesday.
"There is zero chance of Biden stepping down or being impeached over this," he said. The expert also expressed doubts that any of the high-ranking representatives of the Washington administration, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken or US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin would step down over the events in Afghanistan.
"No, I doubt it. If it were going to happen, it would have happened already. Ultimately Biden made the big decision, not his team. That said, if there is another big problem in coming months, there could be a new debate and/or a scapegoat," he said.
Speaking of the foreign policy aspect of the events in Afghanistan, he noted that in the future, the US "working with allies, and with Russia and China if possible" should be clear with the representatives of the Taliban radical movement (outlawed in Russia) "about what kinds of moderated behavior and policies on their part will allow diplomatic recognition, access to Afghanistan funds abroad, and someday humanitarian assistance." "The question is how best to use our leverage," the expert noted.
After the Biden administration had announced the end of Washington’s 20-year-long military operation in Afghanistan and the launch of its troop pullout, the Taliban embarked on an offensive against Afghan government forces.
On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance and gained full control over the Afghan capital within a few hours. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said he had stepped down to prevent any bloodshed and subsequently fled the country.
On August 30, the US completed both the evacuation of civilians from Kabul and its entire military mission to Afghanistan, ending its longest foreign military campaign.
Biden’s political opponents criticized the process of the US’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and the evacuation of Americans, other foreign nationals, and Afghan refugees. Following the August 26 terror attack at Kabul airport, which resulted in over 200 deaths, including 13 US servicemen, a number of influential Republicans called for Biden’s resignation or impeachment, holding him responsible for allowing a terror attack in the Afghan capital. In response, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki urged Americans to unite in the fight against terrorism.