A former Afghan adviser to the U.S. military told Fox News on Monday that the United States “handed everything over to the Taliban,” saying Afghanistan was “not ready” for the U.S. presence to be withdrawn.
Ahmad Shah Mohibi, who at the age of 16 assisted the U.S. military in front-line operations and later served as an adviser to the State Department and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, told Fox News that the Afghan Security Forces were “ready to fight” but that the environment in Afghanistan was “not ready” to fight without U.S. forces.
“We just delivered everything to the Taliban,” he said. “We worked for 20 years. I fought, we had nearly 3,000 Americans die in that war, and spent trillions of dollars, and gave billions of dollars of aircraft to Afghans, and we have just handed it all over to the Taliban.”
Mohibi, now a U.S. citizen, told Fox News that his family and friends are currently in Afghanistan, trying to leave the country as the Taliban take control.
Mohibi told Fox News that his father worked closely as an officer with the Northern Alliance to help U.S. special forces in the early 2000s to push back the Taliban. Mohibi told Fox News that his sister worked with USAID to help with the empowerment of Afghan girls, and that his brother worked in secret service for the Afghan president.
A Taliban fighter sits on the back of a vehicle with a machine gun in front of the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
“It is crazy that within a night, everything changes,” he said, noting that he had been working to bring his family to the United States. “I never knew that such a thing would happen and that the Biden administration would abandon these people.”
He added: “I never imagined that within hours the Taliban would take over.”
Heavily armed Taliban fighters swept into Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul on Sunday after the government collapsed and the Afghani president fled the country, signaling the end of the United States’ 20-year effort to rebuild the nation.
The Taliban is pushing to restore the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the formal name of the country under the Taliban rule before the militants were ousted by U.S-led forces in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, which were orchestrated by Al Qaeda while it was being sheltered by the Taliban.
Last week, though, as the Taliban seized major provinces throughout the country, the Biden administration assessed that Kabul could fall to the Taliban within 90 days. A prior CIA assessment months ago said Kabul could fall in six months, however, officials last week said that prediction was cut in half.
The White House, at the time, said the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces had “what they need” to “fight back.”
“Afghan Security Forces never imagined that this could happen, because just days before, they were working with U.S. forces, and suddenly, they’re gone,” Mohibi explained.
“We just went back to square zero,” he said. “The United States has created the current situation.”
“The United States should have stayed, not forever, but with some sort of deal rather than fleeing,” he continued, saying “it brings negative consequences to U.S. credibility in the world.”
“If we want to go help and save another country in the future, those people will not trust us,” he added. “They will say, look what they did to the Afghans.”
At the Kabul International Airport Monday, U.S. forces attempted to gain control of the crowd of Afghans desperate to leave the country. As of Monday morning, all U.S. evacuation flights were suspended, with U.S. officials telling Fox News that the runway was “not secure” as hundreds of Afghans “breached” the airport walls and flooded the runway.
Officials said until the runway is cleared, the U.S. military flights are suspended. The U.S. closed its embassy in Kabul on Sunday.