US President Joe Biden said on Monday that the situation in Afghanistan was developing faster than expected and that nation-building was never the US goal.
“The truth is that this is a faster development than we had anticipated,” the president said in an address to the nation Monday night in Norwegian time where he advocated the withdrawal of US forces that have been in Afghanistan for nearly 20 years.
– so what happened? Afghanistan’s political leaders surrendered and fled the country. The Afghan army collapsed, sometimes without even trying to fight.
Biden also said that the rapid fall of Afghanistan showed that “another year or five more years or another 20 years” with a US military presence would not have helped and would not be the time to withdraw US forces.
– US forces cannot and should not fight a war and die in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.
We gave them every chance
Biden noted that they have trained and equipped an Afghan force of up to 300,000 men, paid their salaries, and maintained their air force.
We gave them every opportunity to decide their own future. Unless we can give them the will to fight for that future, Biden said.
Pictures and videos from Kabul airport on Monday showed people fighting to get out of the country after the Taliban seized the capital. People ran behind planes which was about to take off, and at least seven people have died so far in the chaos, according to the AP news agency.
The events that we see now are sadly proof that no military force, no matter how large, would give us a stable, united and secure Afghanistan – known in history as the graveyard of empires. Biden said what’s happening now could easily have happened five years or 15 years in the future, stressing that nation-building was never the goal of the United States.
“I strongly believe in this: It is wrong to order the American forces to step up their efforts when the Afghan armed forces are not doing so,” Biden said.
He said that the goal of the United States in Afghanistan has always been to prevent terrorist attacks on the United States, which was achieved when Osama bin Laden was assassinated.
The President stated that the United States would act quickly in Afghanistan if necessary to prevent terrorist acts.
– That depends on me
Biden said he faces a choice between sticking to the agreement reached to withdraw his troops and sending thousands of troops to Afghanistan for a third decade of war.
– He asked how many Americans would die after that.
But after the war lasted under four presidents, he said he had no intention of sending an endless war like that of Afghanistan to a fifth president.
– He said it stops me.
But Biden promised that he would continue to focus on women and children in Afghanistan under the Taliban.
We will continue to talk about the basic rights of the Afghan people, of women and children, in keeping with the fact that human rights have always been a guiding principle of American policy.
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