As significant crowds swarm Afghanistan’s Kabul airport to flee the Taliban takeover of the region, Vice President Kamala Harris is embarking Friday on a trip to Asia with stops in Singapore and Vietnam — ironically, the web-sites of past US-United kingdom army humiliations.
But Harris’ office environment has argued that the excursion — planned in advance of very last weekend’s Taliban seizure of Kabul — should not be “bogged down” by the comparisons of prior calamities with today’s, together with the US defeat by North Vietnam’s Communist governing administration in the 1970s.
“We do not want to get bogged down in the historical comparisons,” a senior Biden administration formal advised reporters this 7 days.
“As Defense Department Spokesman [John] Kirby stated the other working day, or yesterday, you know, we’re not focused on the record of the Vietnam War. We’re centered on what’s going on nowadays in Afghanistan and doing every thing we can to have the most effective result.”
President Biden last month claimed that the US departure from Afghanistan following 20 several years of war would not resemble the 1975 tumble of Saigon in Vietnam. He was proven wrong when hordes of Afghan civilians rushed to the Kabul airport to flee the Taliban’s two-7 days offensive that retook practically the total nation.
Harris will quit very first in Singapore and then in Vietnam, where by she’s envisioned to be peppered with reporter issues on parallels involving the US departures from South Vietnam and Afghanistan. Thousands of US citizens are feared stranded in Taliban-held territory, nevertheless US officials say they don’t know how lots of.
Singapore, like Vietnam, witnessed one particular of the most stunning western military services defeats when far more than 80,000 males fighting for the powerful British Empire capitulated to a a great deal lesser Japanese military in 1942. The defeat handed the Axis powers handle of one particular of the world’s most vital delivery routes.
The senior Biden administration formal mentioned, “Vietnam today is an growing associate of the United States. And that’s why the vice president is likely.”
The formal insisted that Harris will stay abreast of developments in Afghanistan. Despite the fact that the VP boasted in April that she was the very last particular person consulted by Biden about his choice to withdraw US troops, she’s been conspicuously absent from community look at given that the lightning Taliban offensive defeated the US-backed Afghan federal government.
“We are all assured that she can do this trip and go after all of these critical pursuits even though keeping engaged on the subject matter of Afghanistan,” the official mentioned.
“She will be obtaining briefings on the street. She and her group will be regularly in contact with the workforce back again right here. And she leaves, as I say, confident that she can pursue these critically essential difficulties for the United States in Southeast Asia whilst at the very same time remaining a comprehensive participant in the Afghan policy and implementation that is being led right here in Washington.”
It will be Harris’ 2nd vacation abroad as vice president. Her journey in June to Guatemala and Mexico to enlist aid in stemming a surge in unlawful immigration was overshadowed by her struggle to reply questions about her refusal to pay a visit to the US-Mexico border, which she finally did right after returning to the US.