Allies 'Thinking of Doing Things Without US' Amid Bungled Afghanistan Evacuation, Nikki Haley Says
11:54 GMT 30.08.2021 (Updated: 18:18 GMT 03.11.2022)
Last week, Nikki Haley blasted the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, accusing the Biden administration of "completely" surrendering to the Taliban*.
Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has gone ahead with her criticism of the White House's efforts to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan
, where she said the situation is "beyond disgusting".
"Look at where we are now, first, the jihadists have a moral victory, that's for al-Qaeda* and ISIS [Daesh*] and Taliban* […] not just in Afghanistan but in the world. That's going to allow them to recruit, and allow more lone wolf situations. It will be more dangerous", she told Fox News on Monday.
Haley expressed concern over what America's allies "are saying" behind Washington's back amid the Biden administration's hasty evacuation from Afghanistan.
"Did you [ever] think that NATO was thinking about doing things without the US", the ex-US envoy to the UN said, arguing that "our allies are having conversations without us".
"The fact that the British and French have gone out of their way to get their citizens out and we're telling our Americans, 'hey, by the way, don't come to the airport', doesn't bode well for the country on the international stage", she said.
The ex-South Carolina governor described the developments as "catastrophic for America", which she said "is not a good look".
"It is not a good time, it is not a safe feeling, we have to do something about it - we can't sit back. We can't be victims. […] The military families are bonded in our sadness because this did not have to happen", Haley added, apparently referring to the manner the White House is dealing with the troop pullout.
The comments followed the US ambassador to the UN taking aim at POTUS in a series of tweets last week, when she called for Biden's resignation over the Afghan crisis, but warned "that would leave us with Kamala Harris which would be ten times worse".
She also tweeted that "the Biden administration bragging about having 'one of the largest airlifts in history' is admitting their own incompetence", adding that "if Biden evacuated our Afghan allies earlier, as many of us called for, we wouldn't be frantically pulling out with a chance of leaving many behind".
In a separate tweet, Haley hit out at the US president's refusal to extend the 31 August evacuation deadline, dubbing Biden "a coward" and arguing "this is not the America I know and love".
Her Fox News interview comes amid reports that a total of 2,800 Afghans had departed from the Kabul Airport as of 00:30 GMT on Sunday and there were no evacuees left in the building awaiting processing.
Biden Slammed by Allies Over Kabul Evacuation Deadline
Foreign troops are under pressure to wrap up their evacuations by 31 August
, as the Taliban warned they would not extend the deadline for the military even in light of Thursday's suicide bombing at the Kabul Airport, which killed almost 180 people, mostly Afghan citizens, plus 13 US servicemen. Daesh-K*, the terrorist group's affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The UK and other allies expressed muted criticism of Biden's reluctance to extend the 31 August deadline, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apparently reproaching Washington over the issue in Sunday's address on the end of the UK's military operations in Afghanistan.
"Though we would not have wished to leave in this way, we have to recognise that we came in with the United States, in defence and support of the United States and the United States military did the overwhelming bulk of the fighting. And though we now leave with the United States, we will remain represented in the region: we're doubling our humanitarian assistance, development assistance this year to 286 million pounds", Johnson said, referring to the "remorseless deadline" for the Kabul evacuations.
Also voicing frustration over Washington's firm focus on the 31 August evacuation deadline were German Chancellor Angela Merkel and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, who made it clear that no individual alliance member could fill Washington's shoes in the wake of America's decision to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan.
28 August 2021, 14:06 GMT
Biden was also criticised by US allies over refusing to heed Johnson's plea to extend the deadline during a G7 summit last week.
The gathering came after UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told the Daily Mail earlier this month that almost all NATO member states "were not interested" in Britain's call to stay on in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal from the country.
"We tried a number of like-minded nations. Some said they were keen, but their parliaments weren't. It became apparent pretty quickly that without the United States as the framework nation it had been, these options were closed off", Wallace said, also slamming what he described as a "rotten deal" between then-US President Donald Trump and the Taliban* last year.
The agreement stipulated the withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan within 14 months.
*The Taliban, Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State/IS), and al-Qaeda are terrorist groups banned in Russia and a number of other countries.