Two weeks before the call, on July 8, Biden told reporters in the U.S. that it was “highly unlikely” the Taliban would take control of Afghanistan.
- Biden and Ghani met in person at the White House on June 25. Days before the phone call, the U.S. supported Afghan National Security Forces with airstrikes, a move the Taliban said violated the Doha peace agreement with the U.S.
- In the phone call, Biden committed to provide continued U.S. assistance to the Afghan army if Ghani could demonstrate a plan and told his Afghan counterpart that his army is superior to the Taliban.
- “You clearly have the best military,” Biden told Ghani, according to the Reuters transcript. “You have 300,000 well-armed forces versus 70-80,000, and they’re clearly capable of fighting well. We will continue to provide close air support, if we know what the plan is and what we are doing. And all the way through the end of August, and who knows what after that.”
- “Mr. President, we are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists,” Ghani said, “predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this, so that dimension needs to be taken account of.”