The Taliban face an “existential” choice about how they are seen by the rest of the world after their sweeping military victory in Afghanistan, US President Joe Biden says.
“I think they’re going through sort of an existential crisis about do they want to be recognized by the international community as being a legitimate government,” Biden says in an ABC News interview.
The insurgency, which outlasted a combined US-led international force and the now-defunct Western-backed Afghan government in 20 years of war, will now face different problems, he predicted.
While the Taliban is motivated by a powerful Islamist agenda, “they also care about whether they have food to eat, whether they have an income that they can provide… and run an economy,” Biden says. “They care about whether or not they can hold together the society.”
The US president who defended the chaotic exit of the final US troops, foreigners and Afghan allies after the Taliban victory, says he is “not counting” on the Taliban to shift their priorities.