Those arriving from Kabul are terrible images: embassies evacuated, dozens of citizens on the run and airports stormed after the Taliban reached their goal by taking the capital Kabul and coming, in fact, to control the country.
A scenario that, just a month ago, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, considered it to be a long way off: “If a Taliban takeover of the country is inevitable? – he said at a press conference in July 2021 – No, because today there are 300,000 well-equipped Afghan troops and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban, it is not inevitable “.
According to the president, the outbreak of the conflict was so remote that even the intelligence had not fielded the hypothesis, convinced that the Afghan leadership was strong enough. And, just a month ago, Biden he even considered the experience of Vietnam to be “incomparable” with that of Afghanistan. “The Taliban are not the North Vietnamese army – he explained – They are not remotely comparable in terms of capabilities”. And he concluded: “There will be no situations where we will see people evacuated from the roof of a US embassy from Afghanistan. They are not comparable ”.
The reference is to the image of 1975, which remained etched in everyone’s memory, when the US embassy in Saigon was evacuated with a helicopter that picked up people from the roof. Disregarding any of Biden’s predictions, however, that very similar image reappeared on Sunday 15 August, when helicopters, exactly like 46 years ago, took American diplomats from the roof of the Kabul embassy.