Biden Defends His Decision To Withdraw Troops

New Delhi: Amid grim situation in Afghanistan, US President Joe Biden blamed the Afghan leadership for easily giving in to the Taliban and defended his decision to withdraw the American force from the war-torn country.In his address to the nation on Monday, Biden said, “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. We were clear-eyed about the risks. We planned for every contingency. But I always promised the American people that I will be straight with you.”Criticising the political leadership and the Afghan military, Biden further said, “The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. So, what happened? 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 reinforced that ending US military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision.”Defending his decision to withdraw the American force from Afghanistan, Biden elaborated that the US spent over a trillion dollars in training Afghan military force of some 300,000, which is larger in size than the militaries of many of our NATO allies and yet Afghanistan is not willing to fight for themselves.”We paid their salaries, provided for the maintenance of their air force, something the Taliban doesn’t have. The Taliban does not have an air force. We provided close air support. We gave them every chance to determine their own future. We could not provide them with the will to fight for that future, Biden said.”If Afghanistan is unable to mount any real resistance to the Taliban now, there is no chance that one year, one more year, five more years, or 20 more years of US military boots on the ground would have made any difference,” the US President added.Biden narrated his meetings and telephonic conversations with Afghan leaders including President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman Abdullah wherein he emphasised on the need for Afghan leaders to unite politically and clean up the corruption in government so the government could function for the good of their people.”They failed to do any of that. I also urged them to engage in diplomacy, to seek a political settlement with the Taliban. This advice was flatly refused. Ghani insisted that the Afghan forces would fight. But obviously, he was wrong,” said Biden, asserting that he will not repeat the mistakes of staying and fighting indefinitely in a conflict that is not in the national interest of America.The Taliban has effectively taken control over most parts of Afghanistan including capital – Kabul, forcing president Ashraf Ghani to leave behind the crumbled government and flee from the country. The situation has turned grim with most foreign missions repatriating their officials and civilians as the US troops have lost the long-held grip and are being withdrawn from war-torn Afghanistan.

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