The White House left out an important point from the readout of a recent call between U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
A readout provided by the French government mentioned the “collective moral responsibility toward the Afghan men and women” that the two leaders reportedly discussed in the call Thursday.
“The head of state emphasized our collective moral responsibility toward the Afghan men and women who need our protection and who share our values. We cannot abandon them,” the French readout of the call said.
“The two presidents agreed to strengthen their efforts in the humanitarian and political arenas and on counterterrorism in the days to come, particularly within the framework of the G7. It is absolutely urgent and it is a collective responsibility, for which the U.S. President assured President Macron of his support.”
The American readout does not mention Macron’s comments on the moral duty some Western nations have to Afghan civilians.
“They lauded the tireless efforts of their personnel working closely together in Kabul on the evacuation of their citizens, the brave Afghans who have stood by us and our NATO partners, and other vulnerable Afghan nationals,” the White House said by contrast.
‘The G7 are not the only stakeholders in this, the Taliban now have a vote and the security situation is precarious’
— ITV News Politics (@ITVNewsPolitics) August 23, 2021
“They underscored the importance of continued close coordination among allies and democratic partners on Afghanistan, including through multilateral fora, on the provision of humanitarian assistance and support for refugees. They welcomed the virtual G7 leaders’ meeting next week to help coordinate these efforts and discuss a common approach.”
From a strategic perspective, the White House’s statement is a watered-down version of what was likely an intense conversation with Macron.
The French version highlights the correct assumption that nations who participated in the war in Afghanistan have an obligation to provide the Afghan people safety.
While it is not ideal, protecting civilians would be a much more manageable pursuit if the withdrawal had been executed properly.
The G-7, which includes both the United States and France, is expected to meet Tuesday to discuss the implications of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghan and the humanitarian crisis that has followed, according to Reuters.
It is ultimately up to Biden and his top military officials whether to keep troops in the country past the original Aug. 31 deadline.
A deadline extension will likely occur, given the fact that the administration has ordered more troops on the ground to assist refugees.
“The goal is to get as many people out as fast as possible.”@PentagonPresSec says the US is focusing on completing its withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by 31 August, but adds that there could be “additional conversations” about this date.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 23, 2021
Many Americans are tired of the United States being considered the world’s policeman, but Biden failed at his job to safely transition out of Afghanistan without opening a power vacuum.
Macron and other world leaders have recognized this failure, and they are trying their hardest to clean up the president’s mess.