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Joe Biden blames Afghan leaders for Taliban chaos, army didn’t fight

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Joe Biden blames Afghan leaders for Taliban chaos, army didn’t fight


Despite searing pictures of anarchy in Kabul that revealed the limitations of US authority and pushed him into the biggest crisis of his term, President Joe Biden declared on Monday that he remained “squarely behind” his decision to remove US soldiers from Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden criticized Afghanistan’s exiled president and military for the “gut-wrenching” consequences of the United States’ exit from the nation as the Taliban reclaims control after two decades of war.

According to sources, Biden came to the White House from Camp David, where he had cut short his vacation for the national speech.

Joe Biden began by acknowledging that he and his national security advisors had been closely following Afghanistan’s “rapidly falling situation.”

“I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw forces,” Biden said.

“The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. So what’s happened? Afghanistan’s political leaders gave up and fled the country,” Biden said in an address from the White House.


“The Afghan military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight. If anything, the developments of the past week reinforced that ending US military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision. American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight themselves.”

He warned Taliban commanders that if they interfered with the US departure, they would face “devastating force.” Biden was compelled to send additional US troops to Kabul in order to secure the safe evacuation of American diplomats and civilians, as well as Afghan people who collaborated with the US and may suffer retaliation.

Joe Biden defended the US’s hasty approach, claiming that American forces entered Afghanistan in 2001 in retribution for al-Qaeda’s 9/11 atrocities. The goal of putting soldiers in a foreign country was to prevent additional al-Qaeda terror strikes from Afghanistan, not to assist Afghanistan in nation-building, he explained.

Faced with domestic and international outrage, Biden said he would rather absorb the heat for the Afghan repercussions than leave the choice to another president. He highlighted that he “inherited” an agreement with the Taliban made by his predecessor, former US President Donald Trump.

Afghanistan’s president “insisted that Afghan forces would fight,” Biden said. “Obviously he was wrong.”

The frantic evacuation, which came just weeks after Biden predicted that the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan was not inevitable, has tarnished America’s image on the international stage at a time when Biden has been trying to persuade world leaders that “America is back” after former President Donald Trump’s turbulent four years.

Biden claimed that he did not want to be the fifth President of the United States to let ‘more American soldiers sacrifice lives’ because of the ‘ugly brunt’ of violence in Afghanistan. Biden also stated that the US is prepared to act “quickly, swiftly, and decisively to counter-terrorism” if necessary.

A prolonged conflict in Afghanistan, he added, would have helped Washington’s “true strategic competitors,” Russia and China. Moscow and Beijing “would love nothing more than the United States to continue to funnel billions of dollars in resources and attention in stabilizing Afghanistan indefinitely,” Biden said.

Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the country’s High Council for National Reconciliation, were singled out for criticism by Biden, who said they had “flatly refused” his recommendation to pursue a political settlement with the Taliban.

“So I am left again to ask of those who argue we should stay: How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghanistan’s civil war when Afghan troops will not?” he said.

While he acknowledged that the situation deteriorated more quickly than he had anticipated, he stopped short of explaining how the Taliban were able to take control and destabilize the Afghan forces that the US had spent billions of dollars and two decades training, other than to say that they were “not willing to fight for themselves.”

Furthermore, Biden warned that after the pact was inked, there would be no protection for soldiers and no status quo. He suggested that US forces would lose not only jurisdiction but also protection. “I could either send thousands of US forces to the third decade of conflict or retrieve” he added. He stated that the US could not have predicted the government’s fast demise and that there is “never a good time to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan.””

According to the White House, Biden approved up to $500 million from an emergency fund on Monday night to cover “unexpected urgent” refugee requirements arising from the situation in Afghanistan, including for Afghan special immigrant visa applicants.

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