Donald Trump’s deal with the Taliban was a “catastrophe”, according to a former secretary-general of NATO.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Sky News that agreeing a leave date with the militants allowed them to “wait us out”.
He was speaking for Sky’s new documentary, Collapse: Retreat from Afghanistan, which details the final days of the coalition’s presence in the country.
Watch Collapse: Retreat from Afghanistan
- Thursday 9 September @ 8pm on Sky Documentaries
- Friday 10 September @ 9pm on Sky News
- Sunday 12 September @ 10pm on Sky Showcase and Sky Documentaries
Mr Rasmussen headed NATO from 2009 to 2014, and was Danish prime minister when Afghanistan was invaded.
He said: “[Trump] fixed the date of 1 May 2021.
“And the impact of that was that the Taliban could just wait us out.
“They did so and then President Biden repeated the mistakes.
“It is a big mistake to reveal to your opponents on which date you will withdraw. Never, ever tell your enemy when you will withdraw.”
He added that the deal was “a big mistake, I would call it a catastrophe”.
Mr Rasmussen suggested that the Taliban should have been told a withdrawal would happen, but only once they engaged with the Afghan government “in a political settlement that will ensure a peaceful society to hand over to a new government”.
He added the movement should have been “condition based and not calendar driven”.
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“One lesson should be learnt from this, namely when the United States withdraw – [that] they would leave behind a vacuum and that void will be filled by the bad guys.
“And that’s exactly what we have seen demonstrated in Afghanistan.”
In ‘Collapse: Retreat from Afghanistan’ Sky’s Chief Correspondent Stuart Ramsay bears witness to the panicked scramble at Kabul Airport as western troops make their final exit, 20 years after 9/11.
Interviewees including former NATO Sec. Gen. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, and Bush White House Adviser Doug Lute reflect on what happened, and what the consequences could be for us all.
Watch Collapse: Retreat from Afghanistan:
- Thursday 9 September at 8pm on Sky Documentaries
- Friday 10 September at 9pm on Sky News
- Sunday 12 September at 10pm on Sky Showcase and Sky Documentaries