Joe Biden: Ferrari questions whether President is 'fit for office'
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The US President is facing a barrage of criticism over the hasty withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and the policy has been condemned further by the horrific terror attack outside Kabul airport on Thursday. So far 92 people, including 13 US military personnel and two British nationals, are known to have died in a suicide attack, which has been claimed by Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K).
President Biden has vowed to “hunt down” those responsible but has insisted the evacuation of refugees will continue up until the August 31 deadline.
Dr Christian Emery, an expert on US foreign policy, has said the US strategy in Afghanistan has been politically damaging for President Biden but stopped short of suggesting it could lead to his removal from office.
The University College London lecturer acknowledged many are not happy with the way President Biden has handled the situation, but referenced polls which suggested Americans were in favour of leaving Afghanistan after a 20-year conflict.
He told Express.co.uk: “There’s no doubting that the fallout from the chaotic and now deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan has been a political disaster for Biden.
“It has certainly wounded him but I don’t yet see much evidence that it will cost him re-election.
“Many have compared the desperate scenes unfolding in Kabul airport to the last days of America’s presence in Vietnam in 1975, but it’s worth remembering that this event had little bearing on the 1976 US Presidential election.’
“And whilst polls suggest that most Americans believe Biden has seriously mishandled the withdrawal in Afghanistan, it remains an unpopular war and an overwhelming majority of American voters support the decision to withdraw US troops.”
The next US election will not be held until 2024 – and at this stage, it is unclear whether the 78-year-old would seek a second term – but Dr Christian has insisted foreign policy is unlikely to be a defining factor for voters.
He added: “It’s more than three years until US voters go the polls to elect their next President and foreign policy is rarely what decides US presidential elections.
“Short of a major terrorist attack on the US homeland linked to Afghanistan, I suspect that much like the situation in Syria, the dire situation facing millions of Afghans will struggle to gain airtime in the US.”
The US deployed more than 5,000 military personnel to Kabul airport to help with the mass evacuation.
The White House has confirmed around 12,500 people were flown to safety on Thursday, taking the total number above 105,000 since August 14.
Speaking hours after the terror attack on Thursday, President Biden vowed to take revenge and insisted the humanitarian mission would continue.
He said: “We will not forgive, we will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.
“We will not be deterred by terrorists, we will not let them stop our mission. We will continue the evacuations.”
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The Ministry of Defence has airlifted nearly 14,000 people from Kabul in the past two weeks.
Speaking on Friday morning, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace conceded that “not every single one will get out”.
He told Sky News the “overall the main processing is now closed and we have a matter of hours”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: “As we come down to the final hours of the operation, there will also be people who haven’t got through, people who might qualify [for resettlement].
“What I say to them is that we will shift heaven and earth to help them, we will do whatever we can.”
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