PRESIDENT Joe Biden has blasted the Afghan army for “giving up” and said he “stands squarely behind” the decision to pull US troops out of the war-torn country.
Biden slammed the Afghan president and military leaders in an address from the White House, after days of silence on the crisis.
The President also admitted being taken by surprise by the speed of the Afghan government’s collapse.
He said: “The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated.
“So what’s happened?
“Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country.”
The President told Americans…
- The US’ 20-year mission was not about “nation building” but hunting down al Qaeda
- Americans should not be “dying in a war that Afghans are not willing to fight themselves”
- Taliban has been warned that any attacks on the US will be met with “devastating force”
- Taliban is “yesterday’s threat” & US needs to focus on threats faced in 2021
Biden added that he will not repeat the mistakes of the past.
“I stand squarely behind my decision”, Biden said in a televised address to the nation from the White House East Room.
“After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.”
He added that the decision to leave Afghanistan is the right one for America.
Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country.
President Joe Biden
“We will end America’s longest war after 20 long years of bloodshed, the President said.
“The events we’re seeing now are sadly proof that no amount of military force would ever deliver a stable, united, secure, Afghanistan.
“I am president of the United States of America and the buck stops with me.
I am deeply saddened by the facts we now face…I do not regret my decision.”
‘THEY GAVE UP’
Biden heaped blame on the outgoing Afghan administration, which he said had “collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight”.
He said: “It is wrong to order American troops to step up when Afghan forces would not.
“American forces cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”
American forces cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.
He also said that the Afghan government, led by president Ashraf Ghani, failed to take his advice and negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban.
Biden said: “Mr Ghani insisted that the Afghan forces would fight. But obviously he was wrong.”
The President also threatened “devastating force” against the Taliban if they interfere with US plans of removing troops and allies from Afghanistan.
He told Americans: “We’ve made it clear to the Taliban [that] if they attack our personnel, or disrupt our operation – the US… response will be swift and forceful.
“We will defend out people with devastating force if necessary.”
Biden described the images coming out of Afghanistan, especially of crowds trying fleeing the country at Kabul airport, as “gut-wrenching.”
It comes as video of Afghans clinging to a U.S. Air Force plane as it prepared to take off stunned viewers after being shared on social media.
Biden said the U.S. will continue to support the Afghan people, push for regional diplomacy and speak out for the rights of Afghans.
He ended his speech by asking God to “protect our troops and our diplomats.”
Biden rushed back to the White House for his speech after spending time at presidential restreat, Camp David.
Biden’s critics lined up to take aim at the underfire president saying he was in “hiding” or “on vacation”.
The President’s decision to completely withdraw from Afghanistan has undone 20 years of work and people’s lives, according to his critics, who also say it has opened up the likelihood of a humanitarian crisis and damaged US credibility.
The withdrawal from the country has been widely compared to the US evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War.
It is time for Joe Biden to resign in disgrace for what he allowed to happen in Afghanistan
Meanwhile Former President Donald Trump has demanded Biden resign over the Taliban’s advances in Afghanistan.
“It is time for Joe Biden to resign in disgrace for what he allowed to happen in Afghanistan, along with the tremendous surge in Covid, the border catastrophe, the destruction of energy independence, and our crippled economy,” the statement said.
“It shouldn’t be a big deal, because he wasn’t elected legitimately in the first place!”
On Sunday Boris Johnson blamed the US for the advancement of the Taliban in Afghanistan claiming President Biden “accelerated” their control.