Joe Biden has staunchly defended his decision to completely withdraw troops from Afghanistan, saying the U.S. has achieved its objectives.
The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, for over 20 years the US has fought and decimated Al Qaeda’s control of the country forming the major basis for which Biden announced troop withdrawal.
Since the troop withdrawal began this year, the Taliban forces in Afghanistan have been taking over territories with fears the country could become a safe haven for terrorist groups in the near future.
But Biden insists that the United States had done more than enough to empower the Afghan police and military to secure the future of their people.
Biden said he was not declaring “mission accomplished,” but he made it clear that Afghanistan’s fate was no longer in the hands of the American military.
President Biden argued that the U.S. had achieved its military objectives against Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, and that the withdrawal would continue on schedule.
”When I announced our drawdown in April, I said, we would be out by September and we’re on track to meet that target. Excuse me, our military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31. The drawdown is proceeding in a secure and orderly way, prioritizing the safety of our troops as they depart. ” Biden said on Thursday July 8.
”Our military commanders advise me that once I made the decision to end the war, we needed to move swiftly to conduct. The main elements of the drawdown. And in this context, speed is safety. And Thanks to the way in which we have managed our withdrawal, no one, no one US forces or any forces have been lost. The United States did what we want to do in Afghanistan to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and delivered justice to Osama bin Laden and to degrade the terrorist threat to keep Afghanistan from becoming a base from which the attacks could be continued against the United States.
“We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build,” he said. “And it’s the right and the responsibility of Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.”
”We achieved those objectives. That’s why we went we did not go to Afghanistan, to nation build. And it’s the right. And the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country, as I stressed in my meeting just two weeks ago with President Ghani and chairman Abdullah.
Afghan leaders have to come together and drive toward a future that if the Afghan people want and they deserve.”
“In 2011, NATO allies and partners agreed that we would end our combat mission in 2014,” he said. “In 2014, some argued one more year. So we kept fighting and kept taking casualties. In 2015 the same. And on and on.”
“No nation has ever unified Afghanistan, no nation. Empires have gone there and not done it,” Mr. Biden said in a reference to the British occupation of the country in the 19th century and the Soviet effort to gain control three decades ago.
The president also insisted that the United States had not abandoned the thousands of Afghans who served as translators or provided other assistance to the American military. Biden said evacuations were underway and promised those Afghans that there was “a home for you in the United States, if you so choose. We will stand with you, just as you stood with us.”
John F. Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said the military was looking at relocating Afghan interpreters and their families to U.S. territories, American military installations outside the United States, and in other countries outside of Afghanistan.