Putin: US Exit From Afghanistan More Like "A Downright Escape" - Others Left Cleaning Up Mess

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Sep 17, 2021 - 10:00 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday weighed in on America's Afghan withdraw and evacuation fiasco which involved the deaths of 13 US troops and well over 60 Afghan civilians. He issued unusually blunt words while addressing a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes eight countries, foremost among them China and India.

Putin said the US exit looked much more like an "escape" than any kind of planned and coordinated maneuver, despite months in preparation. He described the August events as a "hasty withdrawal – or more like a downright escape – by US and NATO troops from the country."

Image source: TASS

"The urgent task facing our organization is to pursue a single and coordinated policy based on the assessment of serious risks related to the mounting tensions in Afghanistan following the hasty withdrawal – or more like a downright escape – by US and NATO troops from the country," Putin said.

The scathing and sarcastic words of criticism come as the Eurasian allies discussed the deteriorating security situation at the borders of SCO members Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The latter two countries Russia has been cooperating with militarily to ensure secured borders after both civilians and Afghan national forces abandoning their posts fled toward Tajikistan in particular. Additionally there were widespread reports that dozens of US-trained pilots flew their aircraft into Uzbekistan - and the US will reportedly given them asylum. 

Putin also said in the same statements that the US and NATO can't shirk responsibility in providing reconstruction aid. He essentially said the West broke Afghanistan, and now must step up in terms of assisting in reconstruction (which would mean sending aid to the Taliban, ironically enough).

Putin's Friday words weren't the first such criticisms of US and Western action in central Asia. Earlier this month while addressing BRICS leaders he issued the following

I have said many times that the current crisis in Afghanistan is a direct consequence of irresponsible attempts to impose alien values from outside and the desire to build so-called democratic structures by political engineering, which takes into account neither historical nor national characteristics of other nations.

He had further charged the Americans with "ignoring the traditions that other countries live by" - in continuation of his attacks on Washington efforts at nation-building abroad.

"The authors of these experiments then hastily retreat, leaving their subjects to fend for themselves as well. The whole international community has to deal with the consequences," he had said before the earlier BRICS representatives. 

Both Russia and China have been capitalizing off the botched US retreat of late, both in official statements and in state media headlines. At the same time China in particular is said to be poised to be Taliban-controlled Afghanistan's number one investor, as Xi eyes a huge expansions of his Belt and Road Initiative projects inside the country. Taliban leaders' comments have appeared openly welcoming of this possibility.