Last Thursday, President Joe Biden rejected heavy criticism on his Afghanistan pullout decision. With US troops withdrawing, the government is bracing for a Taliban attack that can determine who will control the country. Biden said that he will push through with the withdrawal and that he expected hurdles to come up during the process.
US Troops Currently Undertaking Afghanistan Pullout
In his first speech announcing the US military’s Afghanistan pullout. Biden also pledged to relocate thousands of Afghan interpreters who helped the troops throughout their 20-year stay in the country.
These interpreters are now in mortal fear of their lives. Many believe that once the Taliban overruns the country, they will arrest and possibly kill them and their families for helping Americans. Biden said that relocation flights for interpreters and their families will start as early as this month.
Whale Biden defends the Afghanistan pullout, the country is once again descending into chaos. Taliban fighters are slowly retaking districts in a bid to completely regain control. This complicates Biden’s desire to make a clean break with Afghanistan. For twenty years, American troops tried to keep the peace but only managed to spend trillions while losing more than 2,400 American lives.
Bagram Air Base Withdrawal
Last week, the US turned over control of the Bagram airbase to the Afghan government. Bagram is the US’s most strategic and important airfield in the country. Its transfer to local forces signals the near end of the American presence in the country. Biden assured troops that they will be home before August 31.
Biden challenged critics who insisted on delaying the Afghanistan pullout and instead help stabilize the country. “Let me ask those who want us to stay: How many more — how many thousands more Americans, daughters, and sons — are you willing to risk?” Biden said from the White House. “I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome,” he added.
Taliban Fighters Retaking Afghanistan
Since the US started its withdrawal, Taliban fighters began retaking parts of Afghanistan. The fundamentalist group is now surrounding provincial capitals. Reports also surfaced on Afghan forces surrendering their arms to the Taliban in exchange for sparing them.
As Biden was talking to the media, reports sprang that the Taliban seized a major transit route between Afghanistan and Iran. In addition, US intelligence assessments said that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s Kabul government might fall within six months to a year after the US leaves.
If this happens, this can potentially result in a humanitarian and security crisis. Both will translate into a huge political problem for Biden.
Afghanistan In The Hands Of Afghan Leaders
Biden said that the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban isn’t inevitable. He said that the country’s fate depends on the country’s leaders. Two weeks ago, he told Ghani that “Afghan leaders have to come together and drive toward a future that the Afghan people want.”
Biden also assured Ghani that the US will continue to support Afghanistan through civilian and humanitarian assistance programs.
He also called for a diplomatic solution between the Afghan government and the Taliban. “I intend to maintain our diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, and we’re coordinating closely with our international partners in order to continue to secure the international airport.
And we’re going to engage determined diplomacy to pursue peace and a peace agreement that will end this senseless violence,” he added.
Watch the Associated Press video reporting on US President Joe Biden’s defense of US troop pullout from Afghanistan:
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