The President of the United States, Joe Biden, He firmly defended his decision to withdraw US troops on Monday Afghanistan and blamed Afghan leaders for not resisting and handing over the country to the Taliban. He warned, however, that “he will act quickly” against terrorism in that country “if necessary.”
When dramatic images from the Kabul airport invaded the screens of Americans, who watched in bewilderment as Afghans and foreigners tried to leave Afghanistan by hanging from planes to escape the threat from the Taliban, Biden interrupted his mini-vacation at the Camp David residence to address the nation from the White House.
“American troops cannot and should not be fighting a war and dying in a war that the Afghan forces are unwilling to fight on their own“Biden said, alluding to the swift surrender of the Afghan army, a body they had trained for 20 years and given billions of dollars in weapons.
On Sunday, the Taliban settled in the presidential palace in Kabul, after having fulminated and in a few weeks the power in almost all the cities of the country, without having suffered resistance from the Afghan army.
In a somber tone, Biden highlighted the national interest of the United States in Afghanistan. “We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear objectives: that those who attacked us on September 11, 2001 were brought to justice and that Afghanistan was not a bastion for Al Qaeda. And we have made Al Qaeda much more weakened, “he added.
“The truth is that this developed faster than we had anticipated“Biden said.” So what happened? The political leaders of Afghanistan surrendered and fled the country, “he said.”
“The Afghan army collapsed, some … without trying to fightr. If anything, the events of the past week reinforced that ending US military involvement in Afghanistan was now the right decision, “added Biden.
“The mission was never to build a nation, we were never supposed to create a centralized democracy. What we were going to do in Afghanistan, and until now it has always been the goal, was to prevent a terrorist attack on US soil, “he said.
“I defend my decision vehemently. After 20 years I’ve learned it the hard way: it’s never a right time to take out the US forces, ”he cried.
Biden tried to bring some reassurance to the americans, who see the dramatic scenes at the airport, which many compare to the fall of Saigon in the Vietnam War.
“The security team and I we will be monitoring the situation and we are executing the plan we have to respond to all kinds of contingencies, including the rapid collapse that we are seeing now, “he said.
Then he added that the United States “will act quickly” against terrorism in Afghanistan “if necessary”.
Biden took up the argument that led him to make the decision to withdraw the troops: “I will not repeat the mistakes of the past. The mistake of staying indefinitely. In a conflict that is not part of the national interests of the US, we cannot keep repeating those mistakes because we have significant interests in the world that we cannot afford to ignore. “
Biden had to come out to show his face at a time when criticism was raging for the way in which the withdrawal was carried out. The president had been warned by his own generals and also by experts in the region, that a total withdrawal of US forces would weaken would lead to a Taliban advance.
Many suggested to stay at least a part of troops on the ground.
El presidente Donald Trump had started the withdrawal after a pact in May happened with the Taliban who failed to comply and Biden had to decide whether to continue with that pact or take another course. He decided to withdraw anyway.
With his speech, the president tries to stop the criticism that rains down on him from all sides. The media talk about a Biden “on the defensive” and that the situation in Afghanistan is a “disaster”. Experts point out that this will be a stain on the Democratic presidency and that, after 20 years of struggle in that country, everything has returned to the starting point.
But Biden firmly defends his decision: “Once again, I ask those who say we have to stay: How many more generations of Americans must fight in the Afghan war? How many more lives have to be wasted there?