“Withdrawing our forces was the right decision, we could not fight if the Afghan forces were not ready to do so themselves. “ In the aftermath of the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, the President of the United States spoke Monday August 16 from the White House trying to justify the American withdrawal from the country.

“After twenty years, I reluctantly learned that there is never a good time to withdraw American forces”, said the President of the United States during an address to the nation eagerly awaited, because of the presidential silence during the historic weekend.

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Really shaken for the first time since his election, Mr. Biden has defended again and again his decision to withdraw the last American soldiers from Afghanistan by August 31 at the latest, leaving the fate of the country to an Afghan government and soldiers, today in full rout.

“There was no right time for this withdrawal, we were clear-headed in the face of the risk”, he assured. “Our mission in Afghanistan was never meant to build a nation. It was never meant to create a centralized unified democracy ”, he insisted, specifying that the single objective “Rest[ait] today and has always been to prevent a terrorist attack on American soil ”.

“Things went much faster than we anticipated”

Faced with disastrous images of chaos at Kabul airport and the Taliban patrolling the streets of the Afghan capital, the President of the United States admitted that “Things went much faster than we anticipated”, speaking of a “Collapse of the Afghan army”.

“We gave them all the options to determine their own future”, he assured, adding that “US forces cannot, and should not, wage a war and die of a war when Afghan forces are unwilling to fight for themselves”. He further pointed out that the adversaries of the United States on the international scene, China and Russia in the first row, would have “Adored” let the Americans remain stuck in Afghanistan.

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Faced with the reigning chaos, the tenant of the White House also threatened the Taliban on Monday with reprisals if the latter were to disrupt the evacuation operations underway at Kabul airport. In the event of an attack, the response will be “Fast and powerful”, Biden said, promising to defend US nationals with a custom “Devastating force if necessary”. The United States will continue to engage in “Women and girls” from Afghanistan, Joe Biden also pledged Monday, calling the scenes in Afghanistan “Heartbreaking”.

During his last public speech on Afghanistan on Tuesday, Joe Biden had already defended his decision. On August 10, he said “Not to regret” the American withdrawal from the country. Afghans “Must have the will to fight” and “Must fight for themselves, for their nation”, he added. “We have spent over $ 1 trillion in twenty years, trained and equipped (…) more than 300,000 Afghan soldiers ”, he had pleaded.

Wave of criticism

All the American media, including those who had greeted with relief his election, speak of “Disaster”, like the CNN channel, or a Joe Biden ” on the defensive “, as the Washington post. “Whether we find it fair or unfair, history will remember that Joe Biden is the one who presided over the humiliating conclusion of the American experience in Afghanistan” after twenty years of war, on Monday the New York Times.

Faced with this wave of criticism never seen since the election, Joe Biden’s White House, this well-oiled machine, has seemed paralyzed in recent days. Thursday, then Friday, as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan at astonishing speed, the priority of the White House remained to extol the “Biden plan” supposed to rebuild the American economy on a fairer basis, with gigantic spending. And Saturday, it is in a statement that Joe Biden announced to increase to some 5,000 soldiers the military deployment in Kabul to secure the evacuation of civilians.

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But his rather controlled presidency, assuming to devote himself to economic and social reforms, has indeed faltered. The Republican opposition rushed into the breach, faced with the humiliation of this Afghan army of which the Americans were so proud, and the confusion in which the evacuation operation takes place.

Until now, the conservative camp has been embarrassed by the withdrawal decided by Donald Trump, and viewed favorably by a public opinion weary of the conflict in Afghanistan.

The former Republican president was not mistaken, he who had yet set an even tighter schedule than that of Joe Biden, since he had set the deadline at 1er May 2021. “It is time for Joe Biden, discredited, to resign for allowing what happened in Afghanistan”, claimed Donald Trump in a statement on Sunday, determined to blame the Afghan military debacle only on his successor.

The World with AFP


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