Biden Went For Full Afghanistan Pullout Despite His Cabinet's Advice, Book Claims
12:14 GMT 16.09.2021 (Updated: 13:36 GMT 16.09.2021)
In his latest book titled "Peril", Bob Woodward, a journalist for The Washington Post, has provided a behind-the-scenes look into the transition period between the presidential tenures of Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
US President Joe Biden appeared to go against his own Cabinet when he ordered the complete withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, according to an excerpt from a new book called "Peril" by Bob Woodward, as cited by The Telegraph
Among those who eventually appeared to have different views on the Afghanistan pullout was Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who initially backed Biden's "full withdrawal" plan but allegedly changed his mind after meeting NATO allies in March.
"Previously, he [Mr Blinken] had been foursquare with Biden for a full withdrawal. His new recommendation was to extend the mission with US troops for a while to see if it could yield a political settlement. Buy time for negotiations", the book said.
Biden, however, was adamant in his intention to avoid "mission creep", allegedly telling a national security meeting that the mission was "not to deliver a death blow to the Taliban*".
According to the book, the US president felt that, during Barack Obama's tenure, generals had persuaded him to leave troops in Afghanistan, but would not do so with him.
In the end, as is widely known, the US decided to pull its troops out of the war-ravaged nation, prompting turmoil, the swift seizure of Afghanistan by the Taliban
, and a chaotic evacuation from the Kabul Airport, along with many other issues that the Biden administration is still being criticised for.
Biden, who has defended his Afghanistan decisions even in light of his approval rating plummetting, is described in the new book as a "reluctant president", who only ran for the White House in order to confront Donald Trump.
"I just feel like I have to do this. This guy [Donald Trump] just isn't really an American president", Biden allegedly told his White House chief of staff-to-be, Ron Klain, in 2019, according to the book.
Yet, when he won the race for the Oval Office, he did not appear to feel "comfortable" in the White House, allegedly describing it as a "tomb". Having discovered Trump's golf simulator that was still there, Biden reportedly said: "What a f**king a**hole".
When it came to a viral Air Force One incident - the one when Biden stumbled when walking up the steps to the plane - the president was said to immediately whisper "F**k. F**k!" once he was finally on board.
This and other behind-the-scenes sneak-peeks into the transition period between the tenures of Trump and Biden were offered by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in "Peril", set to hit shelves on 24 September.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other nations.