Kolkata: US President Joe Biden lambasted for his cowardice for turning his back on the embattled Afghanistan that is now under the control of the Taliban, has stood by his administration’s decision to withdraw troops from the war-torn Asian nation. In his first address after the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, he defended his country’s role in combating terrorism in the country as quoted by ANI.
A defiant Biden said, “I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 yrs, I’ve learned hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces(from Afghanistan). We’re clear-eyed about risk, we plan for every contingency…. this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated.” Biden chastised the Afghan leadership for the Taliban takeover adding they gave up and fled due to which the military was rendered helpless adding, “American troops cannot — and should not — be fighting and dying in a war that Afghan forces are by and large not willing to fight and die in themselves.”
“Our current military mission will be short in time and focused in its objectives: Get our people and our allies to safety as quickly as possible. And once we have completed this mission, we will conclude our military withdrawal. We will end America’s longest war,” Biden said.
He said, “We severely degraded Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, we never gave up the hunt for Osama bin Laden and we got him, which was a decade ago,” he said adding, “We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals, get those who attacked us on Sept 11, 2001, and make sure Al-Qaeda can’t use Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again. We did that.”
And he added, “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 seeing now.”
Further defending his role, he elaborated, “Today, the terrorist threat is metastasized, well beyond Afghanistan. I’ve argued for many years that our mission should be narrowly focused on counter-terrorism, not counter insurgency or nation-building.”
Countering his critics, he pointed out, “Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to be nation-building or to be creating a unified, centralised democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland.”
“We’ve developed counter-terrorism over the rise in capability that will allow us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the direct threats to the United States in the region, and act quickly and decisively if needed,” he added.
Underscoring on USA’s role in fighting terrorist attack, he continued, “We conduct effective counter-terrorism missions against terrorist groups in multiple countries where we don’t have a permanent military presence. If necessary, we will do the same in Afghanistan.”
Despite the vilification, Biden is unmoved and emphasises over and over again that he did no wrong. “I know my decision on Afghanistan will be criticised. But I would rather take all that criticism than pass this responsibility on to yet another President. It’s the right one for our people, for the brave service members who risk their lives serving our nation, and for America,” Biden underlined. But are we convinced?