This is the first official reaction of the US president to the situation in Afghanistan since the insurgents entered Kabul this Sunday and announced that they controlled all of the Afghan territory.
US President Joe Biden has stated that “nation building” was never the goal of the US military presence in Afghanistan, and assured that Washington’s mission was to prevent any attack on his country.
“Our mission in Afghanistan was never to build a nation. It was never to create a unified and centralized democracy,” the president declared during a press conference in which he discussed the takeover of the Afghan capital by the Taliban.
“Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan today remains what it has always been: to prevent a terrorist attack on the American homeland,” he said, referring to the fact that the US war in Afghanistan began after the 9/11 attacks carried out. carried out by Al Qaeda.
President Biden addresses the nation after Afghanistan falls to Taliban
He held Trump and Afghan leaders accountable
Likewise, Biden blamed former President Donald Trump’s agreement with Afghan leaders and the military for what happened. “Afghan leaders surrendered, the military collapsed. If anything, events confirmed that the US decision was now correct. Americans should not die in a war in which Afghan forces do not want to fight. ” added.
The president assured that the agreement that Trump negotiated with the Taliban did not protect US forces after May 1, so they could not keep their troops in the country any longer. “China and Russia would like nothing more than the US to continue spending dollars indefinitely in Afghanistan,” he said.
Previously, it was revealed that Biden did not consider the rise to power of the Taliban “inevitable”, as it was the Afghan forces who decided not to “fight for their country.”
In this context, Biden explained that they have closed the US Embassy “safely” and that its diplomatic personnel have moved to the Kabul airport. In addition, he indicated that the evacuation of thousands of Americans will be coordinated and the safe departure of civilian personnel from his allies will be promoted.
The US Homeland Security team has been responding to recent events, including deploying 6,000 troops to help with evacuation tasks, however “this developed more quickly than anticipated,” the president said.
The president also sent a warning to the Taliban leaders who took control of the Afghan capital, to let the US withdrawal proceed unhindered or, he said, they will face “a devastating force”.
On the other hand, Biden assured that they will continue to “defend the basic rights of the Afghan people” and that even after the withdrawal of its troops, Washington will continue to promote “diplomacy and regional commitment to prevent violence and instability.”
The president also maintained that the main US concerns lie elsewhere, including fighting terrorist groups that have been wreaking havoc beyond Afghan borders.
In addition to defending his decision to withdraw US forces, Biden also rejected any comparisons to the US defeat in Vietnam . “I know that my decision will be criticized. But I prefer to accept all those criticisms than to pass this decision on to another president,” he emphasized.
- Armed clashes in Afghanistan escalated shortly after Biden announced in April the withdrawal of the last 2,500 military personnel from the country, prompting the launch of Taliban offensives to regain power and territory lost with US intervention.
- The Taliban movement took control of its first provincial capital on August 6, capturing the city of Zaranj, in the southwestern province of Nimroz, and took over more and more provinces throughout the week.
- Upon entering Kabul, the spokesman for the Taliban Political Office, Mohammad Naeem, declared that “the war is over in Afghanistan” and that the type of government and regime to be established in the country will soon be clear. At the same time, Ashraf Ghani resigned as president and fled the country to avoid clashes with the insurgents and “bloodshed.”