Although President Biden and his Afghan counterpart, Ashraf Ghani, had a positive public meeting about the United States' withdrawal from Afghanistan at the White House earlier this year, the tension was higher behind the scenes, The New York Times reports.
Biden reportedly regarded Ghani, who fled Afghanistan for the United Arab Emirates ahead of the Taliban's takeover of the capital, as "stubborn and arrogant." But nevertheless, he agreed to Ghani's requests to provide Afghan forces with air support and keep the U.S. exit "low key" so it would not look as if Washington didn't "have faith" in Ghani's government. Ghani also requested that the U.S. be "conservative" in granting exit visas to interpreters and other Afghans who aided the U.S. military, an official familiar with the conversation told the Times.
But Ghani reportedly did not follow through on Biden's own request — that Afghan forces, stretched thin, should not try to fight the Taliban everywhere. Biden reportedly repeated advice he'd received from American officials that Ghani should consolidate Afghan forces around key locations to hold off the insurgency for longer. He "never took it," the Times writes. Read more at The New York Times.