Responding to harsh criticism both of his decision to pull US troops from Afghanistan by August 31 and of the manner the whole process was handled, President Biden addressed the nation on Tuesday fiercely defending his decision pointing it saved US lives, Bloomberg reports.
Biden pointed in his address from the White House he was not going to extend that forever war and a forever exit, noting August the 31 was not an arbitrary deadline but it was designed to save American lives.
He said the US had a real, clear choice to leave Afghanistan after 20 years or to commit to sending tens of thousands more troops back to war in a situation in which the US has no clear purpose, so he refused to send another generation of Americas to fight a war that should’ve ended long ago.
Biden also pointed that other than to ensure that Afghanistan is not used as a launchpad for an attack on US soil and its allies, Washington has no vital interest in the country.
Biden didn’t missed the chance to shift the blame for the spectacular failure of the evacuation efforts to former US president Trump, who shaped the decision to pull out of Afghanistan, as well to the maleficent ousted Afghan government that showed inability to fight back against swift Taliban advances pushing the US and NATO troops into a hasty and humiliating exit.
He also blamed former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, criticizing his inefficiency and corruption, for handing over the country to Taliban and fleeing, which significantly increased the risk for US and allied countries’ troops.
The president has rebuked Republicans’ criticism on leaving more than 100 Americans behind in Afghanistan, downplaying that part of the crisis by saying that 90% of the Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave and emphasized that the US had reached out to the remaining Americans 19 times.
He committed again to evacuating the remaining Americans, saying there’s no deadline for their saving, but gave no explanation how he plans to execute that now that Taliban has full control over Afghanistan.
With Republicans and some Democrats expressing frustration and anger at the hastened pullout and the rapid fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, Biden’s presidency is now facing political probes over the handling of the withdrawal and the logistical challenge to find new homes for thousands of Afghans evacuated from the country and transferred to US military bases.