Washington: US President Joe Biden has defended his decision to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, despite the fact that Taliban forces have taken Kabul, causing chaos in the war-torn country.
“I stand squarely behind my decision,” said Biden adding that “After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces.”
“I stand firmly behind my decision,” Biden said, adding, “After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces.”
“My national security team and I have been closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Afghanistan and moving quickly to execute the plans we had put in place to respond to every constituency and contingency, including the rapid collapse we are now seeing,” Biden said.
“We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals: capture those responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks—and ensure that al Qaeda could not use Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again,” Biden said.
“We did it over a decade ago. Our mission was never intended to be one of nation-building “He continued.
“Our mission in Afghanistan was never intended to be one of nation-building or the establishment of a unified, centralised democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains the same as it always has been: preventing a terrorist attack on the American homeland “Biden stated.
“For many years, I’ve argued that our mission should be narrowly focused on counter-terrorism, not counter-insurgency or nation-building,” he said.
“We conduct effective counter-terrorism operations against terrorist groups in a number of countries where we do not maintain a permanent military presence. We will do the same in Afghanistan if necessary “Biden went on to say.
Afghan political leaders were unable to reach an agreement.
Joe Biden argued that the failure of Afghan troops to defend their country demonstrated why it was the correct course of action to proceed with the US troop withdrawal.
“It is wrong to order American troops to step up when Afghanistan’s own armed forces refuse to do so,” Biden said.
If US personnel are attacked, immediate action must be taken.
Biden warned that if the Taliban attacked US citizens or disrupted evacuation efforts in Kabul, the US would respond “swiftly and forcefully.”
“If necessary, we will defend our people with devastating force,” Biden said.
I will not delegate this authority to a fifth US President: Biden has stated that he will not hand over America’s war in Afghanistan to a fifth president.