Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

There was no way to withdraw from Afghanistan "without chaos ensuing," Biden says

President Biden said he saw no way to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan "without chaos ensuing" in an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that will air Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: Critics have slammed the Biden administration for failing to plan a measured and managed departure, which the Taliban used to their advantage. But in his first on-camera interview since the fall of Afghanistan, Biden defended the withdrawal, calling it "a simple choice."


What he's saying: Five weeks ago, Biden had assured Americans that the "likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely."

  • But on Wednesday, Biden told Stephanopoulos that "the idea that somehow, there's a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing — I don't know how that happens."
  • When asked if that was "priced" into Biden's decision, Biden answered in the affirmative before backtracking.
  • "Now exactly what happened, I've not priced in," he said. "Look, one of the things we didn't know is what the Taliban would do in terms of trying to keep people from getting out."
  • He reiterated that the Afghan government, whose U.S.-backed leader, Ashraf Ghani, fled on Sunday as the Taliban closed in on Kabul, was at fault for the country's collapse.
  • "It was a simple choice. If I said, 'we're gonna stay,' then we'd better be prepared to put a whole lot hell of a lot more troops in."

Worth noting: The president grew defensivewhen Stephanopoulos alluded to photos of hundreds of people crammed into a C-17.

  • "That was four days ago, five days ago!" Biden interrupted.
  • The photo was taken on Monday.

Catch up quick: Since Sunday, Afghans have fled their homes and pleaded with the world to open their borders. The U.S. is working to relocate allied Afghans and their families.

  • The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday that the U.S. military's intelligence did not indicate that Afghanistan would fall as quickly as it did to the Taliban.
  • Former Afghan President Ghani said he is in "talks to return to Afghanistan." He claims he left Kabul to prevent bloodshed.
  • Senate Democrats have vowed to investigate the U.S.'s "flawed" pullout of troops.

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories