- Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
Afghanistan
The Taliban (under UN sanctions for terrorist activities) stormed to power in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, as US-led forces withdrew from the country after 20 years of occupation.

Afghans Unlikely to 'Soon' Trust a US President After Chaotic Troop Withdrawal, Ambassador Suggests

© REUTERS / JOSHUA ROBERTSClouds pass over the White House in Washington, U.S., September 21, 2021
Clouds pass over the White House in Washington, U.S., September 21, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021
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The US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan was anything but calm and cool, as a bevy of critics labeled the pullout uncoordinated and ill-advised, with many others going so far as to blast the move as un-American after the US spent nearly 20 years in the war-torn nation.
In light of the chaotic withdrawal and broken promises of establishing a functioning democracy in Afghanistan, Afghan nationals are unlikely to trust any US president at the moment, Adela Raz, Afghanistan's ambassador to the US, told Axios in an exclusive interview.
Remarks from the interview, taped earlier this week, hit the airwaves on Sunday for the outlet's "Axios on HBO" series. The program saw Raz discuss a variety of topics with Jonathan Swan, an Axios political reporter, during her first television interview since the US military left the country.
Raz detailed during the interview that, while she believes in Americans and US policies, she's not quick to fully believe or trust in the US, a sentiment she noted was likely carried by many Afghans who feel abandoned by the Biden administration.
"No, sorry - I trust and believe the people. I have lots of trust in US policies, and probably government policies," she told Swan, adding that Afghan nationals aren't likely to trust in the US anytime "soon."
Raz detailed during a separate interview that she is profoundly grateful for sacrifices made by American troops stationed in Afghanistan following the US arrival to the nation.
Asked whether she still see the US as the leader of the free world, Raz indicated she would "probably" either question the statement or laugh it off.

"[The US] was engaged in building [a democracy] in Afghanistan, and the people believed in it, and fought for it but when the negotiations survived the Taliban that was not the priority to be negotiated," she stated.

She further voiced that she doesn't believes that US President Joe Biden cares about the fate of Afghan women or of Afghan girls, recalling the commander-in-chief's remarks that the US could not be the "police of the world."
© REUTERS / US ARMYU.S. Army Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, steps on board a C-17 transport plane as the last U.S. service member to leave Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 30, 2021 in a photograph taken using night vision optics
U.S. Army Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, steps on board a C-17 transport plane as the last U.S. service member to leave Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 30, 2021 in a photograph taken using night vision optics - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021
U.S. Army Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, steps on board a C-17 transport plane as the last U.S. service member to leave Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 30, 2021 in a photograph taken using night vision optics
Raz holds some guilt now on account of a decision to encourage Afghan women to serve with her in government. "One of them was a young woman that was assassinated. She was a human rights advocate," a tearful Raz said.
Raz, who became Afghanistan's first female ambassador when she took the post, blasted what she characterized as Biden's missteps, asserting to Swan that many believed that the US president would renegotiate the withdrawal deal after coming into office. The withdrawal measures were earlier negotiated under the Trump administration.
"When he first came into office we were all super excited that he wouldn’t withdraw, or that he would change the deal," she recalled. "I think everybody hoped that he would put stronger conditions, which he did not. It was very well accepted to me and to a lot us that the US troops would withdraw, but there has to be conditions on the Taliban that they commit to the achievements that the Afghan society has made."
The interview saw Raz point out that the lack of staying power in Afghanistan resulted because Afghan security forces never got the chance to fight from the start.
"It was not that they weren’t fighting, It’s that they didn’t get a chance to fight. First, the troops the way they were trained ... the training was in a way in which they were dependent on the US, especially the airpower," she said, detailing that in one instance Afghan forces weren't clearly taught how to even use the GPS technology on military vehicles.
"They were driving blindly," she said, before acknowledging that the withdrawal never included "enough window to build the right type of transition."

Ghani's Exit Was Premeditated

Just as Taliban* militants were gearing up for a full takeover of Afghanistan, former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the Kabul capital city, eventually ending up in the United Arab Emirates.
Raz relayed to Axios that Ghani owes the Afghan people a full explanation on his decision to abandoned his people.
© REUTERS / STRINGERFILE PHOTO: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani looks on during a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, during a surprise visit at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, November 28, 2019
FILE PHOTO: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani looks on during a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, during a surprise visit at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, November 28, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021
FILE PHOTO: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani looks on during a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, during a surprise visit at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, November 28, 2019
However, she also detailed during the exclusive interview that Ghani's departure was arguably premeditated, stating that her husband had seen Ghani holding "unusually secretive" meetings before his August 15 disappearance from Kabul.

"I was very sarcastic," Raz said when she was informed of Ghani's meeting. It was her husband, however, who served as a top aide to the exiled president, who revealed the developments to her. "I said, 'Oh, probably they're working on the evacuation plan.'"

Raz's revelations came on the same day that details of Ghani's escape from Kabul were outlined by the Hasht e Subh Daily.
Now left with little direction from either the US Department of Defense or the State Department, Raz has maintained a small group of employees at the Kabul embassy in her efforts to keep things going. While the Taliban have reached out, she doesn't have any plans to coordinate with the group.
*The Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.
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