President Joe Biden said the Taliban have not changed but are going through an “existential crisis” about whether they want legitimacy on the global stage as they have taken over Afghanistan.
In an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America, Mr Biden said that he is “not sure” the Taliban want to be “recognised by the international community as being a legitimate government”.
He also said that the threat from al Qaida and their affiliate organisations is “greater in other parts of the world than it is in Afghanistan, adding that it’s “not rational” to ignore the “looming problems” posed by al Qaida affiliates in Syria or East Africa, where he said the threat to the US is “significantly greater”.
“We should be focusing on where the threat is the greatest,” Mr Biden said, in defence of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Mr Biden also pushed back against concerns about the treatment of women and girls in the country, arguing that it’s “not rational” to try to protect women’s rights around the globe through military force.
Instead, it should be done through “diplomatic and international pressure” on human rights abusers to change their behaviour.