President Joe Biden faced the media last Monday and doubled down on his Afghanistan decision to move out. He blamed the Afghan government and military for giving up control easily to the Taliban.
Biden Defends Afghanistan Decision
Biden said the US-backed Afghan leadership abandoned its people. “Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country; the Afghan military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight. If anything, the developments of the past week reinforce that ending US military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision,” he said.
Speaking from the White House, Biden affirmed his Afghanistan decision, saying he is ‘squarely’ behind it. In addition, he argued that he faced between continuing the US military withdrawal, or escalating the conflict further and risking more American lives. “I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces. That’s why we’re still there.”
Taliban Seizes Control Of Afghanistan
Following Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s decision to flee the country Sunday, Taliban forces seized control of the capital, Kabul. This marks the beginning of the end of a 20-year attempt by the US to establish a democratic Afghan government.
Within hours of the capture of Kabul, many locals swarmed the international airport in the hope of catching a flight out of the country. Afghans managed to enter the military area of the airport and climbed aboard US Air Force cargo planes.
An amateur video showed apparent scenes where people who clung to the landing apparently fell off as the USAF plane took off.
White House Caught Off Guard
Apparently, the rapid pace at which the Taliban took over the country caught the White House off guard. The US had to send additional troops to Afghanistan to help with evacuations.
However, the US Embassy, which was supposed to remain open, already completed its evacuation Sunday evening. Meanwhile, Biden elected to stay at Camp David, the presidential retreat, as the Afghan chaos continued.
“The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated,” Biden said. He added that the government prepared for various scenarios to complete US withdrawal.
However, they said that the Afghan government and military didn’t want to defend their own country. “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves,” he said. He also insisted that if the Afghan military failed to resist the Taliban now, retaining US troops there wouldn’t make any difference.
Afghanistan Decision Was A Catastrophic Failure
As Afghanistan plunges back into Taliban control, Democrats, including former President Barack Obama’s officials, joined Republicans in criticizing Biden’s handling of the withdrawal.
While many agreed with the ultimate withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, many also scored Biden for his apparent lack of preparation. Specifically, they hit the administration’s failure to help evacuate thousands of Afghans who assisted US troops during their 20-year stay. They also criticized Biden for the chaotic evacuation of Americans over the weekend.
California Democrat Representative Jackie Speier didn’t mince words as she urged Biden to appear before the nation. “This is a crisis of untold proportions.
This is an intelligence failure,” she said. In addition, former Afghanistan Ambassador Ryan Crocker said the Biden With House displayed “a total lack of coordinated, post-withdrawal planning,” and that the predicament was a “self-inflicted wound.”
Watch the Reuters news video reporting that US President Joe Biden stands ‘squarely behind’ Afghanistan decision:
Do you agree with the decision to completely withdraw from Afghanistan? Did you envision it would be this chaotic when the US said they will be leaving the country so it can govern itself?
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