PRESIDENT Joe Biden has blasted the Afghan army for “giving up” and has said that he “stands squarely behind” the decision to pull US troops out of the country.
Biden has finally returned to the White House to address the nation on the crisis in Afghanistan after days of silence.
He told reporters that he stands squarely behind his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan and that the government’s collapse was quicker than anticipated.
Speaking about the chaotic situation in Afghanistan, Biden said Monday that he faced a choice between an agreement to withdraw U.S. forces or send thousands more U.S. troops back in for a third decade of war.
Biden spoke after the planned withdrawal of American forces turned deadly at Kabul’s airport as thousands tried to flee following the Taliban’s swift takeover of the government.
He added that he will not repeat the mistakes of the past.
“I stand squarely behind my decision”, Biden said in a televised address to the nation from the White House East Room.
Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country.
President Joe Biden
“After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.”
He added that the decision to leave Afghanistan is the right one for America.
He said: “The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. So what’s happened?
“Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country.”
He added that the U.S. could not provide Afghan forces “with the will to fight” for the future.
The President told Americans…
- The US’ 20-year mission was not about “nation building” but hunting down al Qaeda
- Americans should not be “dying in a war that Afghans are not willing to fight themselves”
- Taliban has been warned that any attacks on the US will met with “devastating force”
- Taliban’s rapid advance in Afghanistan “unfolded more quickly than we anticipated”
He also said that the Afghan government failed to take his advice and negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban.
“Mr Ghani insisted that the Afghan forces would fight. But obviously he was wrong.”
During his speech, he told Americans that “the buck stops here” and he will not “pass the responsibility [of removing troops from Afghanistan] to a fifth president.”
POTUS also threatened “devastating force” against the Taliban if they interfere with US plans of removing troops and allies from the country, a decision he strongly stands behind.
He added: “I will not ask our troops to fight on endlessly in another country’s civil war.”
Biden described the images coming out of Afghanistan especially at the airport in Kabul, where Afghans descended in hopes of fleeing the country as “gut-wrenching.”
Video of Afghans clinging to a U.S. Air Force plane as it prepared to take off had circulated widely on the internet.
Biden said Monday the U.S. will continue to support the Afghan people, push for regional diplomacy and speak out for the rights of Afghans.
He ended his speech by asking God to “protect our troops and our diplomats.”
Yesterday Biden was nowhere to be seen in Washington DC, instead leaving for Camp David, the presidential retreat, on Thursday and remains there.
Biden’s critics lined up to take aim at the underfire president saying he was in “hiding” or “on vacation”.
Biden’s decision to completely withdraw from Afghanistan has undone 20 years of work and people’s lives, according to his critics, who also say it has opened up the likelihood of a humanitarian crisis and damaged US credibility.
The withdraw from the country has been widely compared to the US evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War.
Meanwhile Former President Donald Trump has demanded Biden resign over the Taliban’s advances in Afghanistan.
“It is time for Joe Biden to resign in disgrace for what he allowed to happen in Afghanistan, along with the tremendous surge in Covid, the border catastrophe, the destruction of energy independence, and our crippled economy,” the statement said.
“It shouldn’t be a big deal, because he wasn’t elected legitimately in the first place!”
And yesterday Boris Johnson blamed the US for the advancement of the Taliban in Afghanistan claiming President Biden “accelerated” their control.
The Prime Minister said the “difficult” situation had been exacerbated by the President’s decision to withdraw troops from the war-torn country.
In the wake of a Cobra meeting on Sunday afternoon, Mr Johnson said it was “fair to say the US decision to pull out has accelerated things, but this has in many ways been a chronicle of an event foretold.”
He urged the West to come together to stop Afghanistan again becoming a “breeding ground for terrorism” after the Defence Select Committee chairman warned of terrorist attacks on the West “on the scale of 9/11.”