Joe Biden vowed Thursday that he would not send “another generation of Americans” to war in Afghanistan and said the United States would withdraw its forces from the nation before August 31.
“Our military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31,” Biden said.
The president had previously said that the pullout would end on September 11, but the Pentagon announced this week that more than 90% of the operation had already been completed.
Biden said senior defense officials had told him that moving quickly was the most effective method to protect US troops, and the president noted that so far no service members had been lost in the withdrawal process.
“In this context, speed is safety,” Biden said.
US troops departed in the middle of the night last week from their main Afghan air base in Bagram, north of Kabul, without even notifying their Afghan military counterparts. The US withdrawal is now 90% complete.
Retired Major General James “Spider” Marks told CNN Thursday afternoon that he saw no results for Afghanistan in the near future, apart from civil war, with the Taliban rising to take control of vital parts of the country, but leaving enough void to create. , once again, “a breeding ground” for Islamist fundamentalist terrorism.
Before the president spoke Thursday afternoon, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said of the planned withdrawal: “We are not going to have a ‘mission accomplished’ moment in this regard. It is a 20-year war that has not been won militarily. “
That comment was seen as a reference to the infamous President George W. Bush. Speech “Mission accomplished” in 2003 from the deck of a US aircraft carrier, in which he announced that “important combat operations in Iraq have been completed.” That false statement has been widely mocked in the 18 years since it was delivered.
Biden warned Thursday that staying in Afghanistan would mean more American casualties to continue a war that started two decades ago.
The president noted that 2,448 Americans had died in the war in Afghanistan and another 20,722 had been wounded.
He expressed appreciation for all the American troops who had made the greatest sacrifice in Afghanistan and for the many others who returned home seriously injured, both physically and mentally.
“I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan without a reasonable expectation of a different outcome,” the president said.
“We did not go to Afghanistan to build a nation,” he added. “And it is the right and responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.”
The president emphasized that the United States “will continue to provide civil and humanitarian assistance” in Afghanistan, including defending the rights of women and girls in the country.
In addition to repatriating troops from America’s longest war, Biden is under enormous pressure to bring Afghan interpreters and other vulnerable people to the United States.
He offered assurances that those who aided American troops will be protected by the United States.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism