UK forces chief Nick Carter swipes at Joe Biden over US withdrawal

UK forces chief Nick Carter hits out at Joe Biden for abrupt US withdrawal that ‘shattered’ Afghan morale among their soldiers who had ‘fought very bravely’ until the West walked out

  • General Sir Nick Carter said abrupt withdrawal of US forces ‘shattered morale’ 
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with US President Joe Biden over the phone 
  • It follows criticism from the US media and politicians over the Taliban takeover 
  • The pair will meet virtually at a meeting of the G7 leaders in the coming days  

The head of UK forces today swiped at Joe Biden over the headlong US withdrawal from Afghanistan saying it ‘shattered’ the morale of local forces.

General Sir Nick Carter dismissed the president’s claim that the Afghan army had lacked the stomach for battle, insisting they ‘fought very bravely’ until the West effectively walked out.

Sir Nick said as the government teetered on the verge of collapse he had been focused on ‘giving confidence’ to the country’s military, which had been trained and equipped by the UK and US for two decades.  

Pointing to the impact of the July 4 drawdown of US troops,  the Chief of the Defence Staff said: ‘They lost their air power. That was a very shattering moment in terms of their morale…

‘What happened from 4th of July onwards, their morale was shattered.’ 

The comments came after Boris Johnson last night urged Mr Biden not to throw away the gains of the last 20 years following the chaotic US withdrawal.

In a thinly veiled warning over the consequences of the US military retreat from Kabul, the Prime Minister reminded the President of the need to protect the West against terrorism.

It follows a wave of criticism from US media and British and European politicians following the Taliban’s dramatic takeover.

A Downing Street spokesman said: ‘The leaders welcomed US and UK cooperation in recent days to help evacuate our nationals, current and former staff, and others from Afghanistan. 

General Sir Nick Carter dismissed the president’s claim that the Afghan army had lacked the stomach for battle

Prime Minister Boris Johnson reminded US President Joe Biden of the need to protect the West against terrorism

‘They resolved to continue working closely together on this in the days and weeks ahead to allow as many people as possible to leave the country.’  

The discussion between the pair is thought to be one of the first calls from an international leader the President has taken since the insurgents’ power grab.

The Downing Street spokesman added: ‘The Prime Minister and President Biden agreed on the need for the global community to come together to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

‘The Prime Minister outlined UK plans including increased humanitarian aid to the region and resettlement of refugees. 

‘The Prime Minister stressed the importance of not losing the gains made in Afghanistan over the last twenty years, of protecting ourselves against any emerging threat from terrorism and of continuing to support the people of Afghanistan.’


The discussion between the pair is thought to be one of the first calls from an international leader the President has taken

The pair said they will discuss this issue further at a virtual meeting of G7 leaders in the coming days.

It comes as the American media turned on Mr Biden yesterday over the botched withdrawal of troops.

The President had blamed the Afghans for not being prepared for the Taliban insurgents’ rapid attack. 

But his address to the American people on Monday night was slammed by media outlets and political commentators.

The Wall Street Journal described the speech as ‘one of the most shameful in history by a commander in chief’.

In an editorial, the newspaper said the President had ‘refused to accept responsibility for the botched withdrawal while blaming others’, adding that the ‘one group he conspicuously did not blame was the Taliban’.

The President blamed the Afghans for not being prepared for the Taliban attack in his speech

His address to the American people on Monday night was slammed by media outlets and political commentators

It was reported last night that in 2010, Mr Biden said ‘f*** that’ when asked if the US had a moral obligation to protect civilians in Afghanistan. He made the blunt remarks to Richard Holbrooke, a top US diplomat in the Barack Obama administration.

In Monday’s speech, Mr Biden said: ‘I stand squarely behind my decision’, and claimed that Afghanistan’s political leaders and military were ‘not willing to fight for themselves’.

‘We gave them every chance to determine their own future. We could not provide them with the will to fight for that future.’

A Washington Post editorial said Mr Biden could have listened to the ‘many seasoned hands’ giving him alternatives to withdrawal, adding that him blaming others was ‘unseemly’ given that 2,448 US service members died in Afghanistan in 20 years.

The pair said they will discuss the issue further at a virtual meeting of G7 leaders 

An editorial in the New York Post said Mr Biden ‘alone is responsible’ for the Taliban takeover

An editorial in the New York Post said Mr Biden ‘alone is responsible’ for the Taliban takeover, which it described as an ‘utter catastrophe, for Afghans and for world security’.

German chancellor Angela Merkel said: ‘This is an extremely bitter development. Bitter, dramatic, terrible – especially, of course, for the people in Afghanistan. We all made the wrong assessment.’ 

The Ministry of Defence in the UK repeatedly warned its US counterparts that the plan to remove US troops by September 11 was too quick. Officials told Washington the timetable was ‘very aggressive’.

A Foreign Office source said: ‘There was not a lot of consultation. He [Mr Biden] basically announced what he wanted to do. Every Nato ally, including us and his defence staff, will have been advising a longer delay.’ 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted: ‘We all made the wrong assessment.’ 

Former Treasury minister Huw Merriman, chairman of the Commons transport committee, called Mr Biden a ‘total blithering idiot’ for blaming Afghan forces. Another former minister, Simon Clarke, said it was the end of an American era.

‘The more you reflect, the more you realise the speech he gave last night was grotesque,’ he tweeted. ‘An utter repudiation of the America so many of us have admired so deeply all our lives – the champion of liberty and democracy and the guardian of what’s right in the world.’ 

Tory backbencher Angela Richardson said: ‘The world just got a little bit smaller after that statement. Very protectionist.

‘Only concerned about terrorist threats on US soil and no real acknowledgment of the devastation left behind in Afghanistan.’

Britons condemn Joe Biden: New poll makes grim reading for US President as decision to pull his troops out of Afghanistan is considered WRONG by almost two to one

The British public last night condemned Joe Biden for the crisis in Afghanistan as they expressed fears the turmoil could lead to fresh terror attacks here.

A poll for the Daily Mail found the President’s decision to pull out US troops was considered wrong by almost two to one.

Mr Biden is seen as most to blame for the Taliban’s victory, just ahead of Donald Trump.

Almost half (49 per cent) say their view of Mr Biden has worsened. But the results of the JL Partners survey, the first major poll conducted since the collapse of Afghanistan, also make grim reading for Boris Johnson.

Nearly seven in ten (67 per cent) feel the Prime Minister and his team have not been in control of the situation, including 58 per cent of Tory voters.

A poll for the Daily Mail found the President’s decision to pull out US troops was considered wrong by almost two to one. Joe Biden is seen as most to blame for the Taliban’s victory, just ahead of Donald Trump

And the majority (51 per cent) believe he should have done more to persuade Mr Biden not to pull out his troops so soon.

However, there is a reluctance for British soldiers to remain in the country, with around six in ten (58 per cent) opposed to them staying on their own without the Americans alongside them.

More than half (51 per cent) said ministers have not done enough to help Afghan interpreters who helped British troops find refuge along with their families.

The Mail has highlighted the urgent issue over the six years of our award-winning Betrayal Of The Brave campaign. A majority (53 per cent) said Britain should do more to accept refugees fleeing the Taliban, compared to just one in five who disagreed.

Only eight per cent said they believed Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has handled the crisis well, with 13 per cent saying the same about the Prime Minister. Both Mr Raab and Mr Johnson were on holiday as Kabul fell to the advancing fanatics.

The PM returned from his break in the West Country on Sunday afternoon for a Cobra meeting in Whitehall, while the Foreign Secretary, who had been in Crete, eventually arrived back in the country in early hours of Monday. Nearly four in ten (38 per cent) said Mr Raab came back from his holiday too slowly, while 33 per cent said Mr Johnson had not returned quickly enough.

However, only a fifth of voters (20 per cent) wanted either the Foreign Secretary or the Prime Minister to resign. And even fewer – eight per cent – thought Defence Secretary Ben Wallace should go.

The poll revealed growing fears about the threat of terrorism in the wake of the Taliban takeover. An overwhelming 59 per cent said Britain’s safety has worsened, while 55 per cent warned they believe the risk of a terror attack in this country has grown.

Almost half (49 per cent) say their view of Mr Biden (pictured on August 12) has worsened. The US is still seen as the most powerful nation by 41 per cent, but it was only five points higher than China on 36 per cent

The results of the JL Partners survey, the first major poll conducted since the collapse of Afghanistan, also make grim reading for Boris Johnson (pictured on July 28)

Almost a third (30 per cent) expressed concern that their own personal safety is now worse.

Four in ten (40 per cent) said Britain’s influence on the world stage has declined.

The US is still seen as the most powerful nation by 41 per cent, but it was only five points higher than China on 36 per cent. However despite the chaos in Afghanistan, Britons still preferred Mr Biden to his predecessor, Mr Trump, to handle the situation by 38 per cent to 20 per cent.

Almost six in ten (59 per cent) expressed the belief the 457 British military personnel killed in Afghanistan died for nothing. Some 65 per cent said the West has let down Afghan women and children, while 53 per cent expect UK troops will eventually have to go back.

JL Partners interviewed 1,040 adults in Britain yesterday.

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