US President Joe Biden defended his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan Taliban’s swift takeover Countries, saying that the mission of the United States “should never be about nation-building.”
In his first comment since Taliban controlled In Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, Biden said on Monday that with the rapid advancement of the Taliban, the downfall of the Afghan government “is indeed much faster than we expected.”
However, Biden said in a televised speech: “I firmly support my decision.”
“If anything, developments in the past week have reinforced that it is now the right decision to end the US military intervention in Afghanistan. The US military cannot and should not fight in a war where the Afghan army is unwilling to fight for itself, and in a war. Die.”
After Biden made a comment Chaotic scene At the Kabul airport, as the Taliban advanced rapidly, thousands of Afghans gathered there, desperately trying to leave the country.
Sunday group Take over the Presidential Palace of Afghanistan A few hours after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled, in Kabul and throughout the city in various areas, he said the move was intended to prevent further bloodshed, but was criticized by the Afghans as “Unpatriotic and sad“.
Desperate escape attempt
Videos shared on social media A group of people ran side by side with the US military jet as it was about to take off from the Capital Airport on Monday. Another clip appeared to show that at least two people fell from the sky after the plane took off.
U.S. officials said they remain committed to evacuation of Afghans, including those who have been granted special immigration visas to help the country’s military during a multi-year mission in Afghanistan.
But refugee advocates urge the Biden administration to act faster because there is growing concern that Afghans who cooperate with the United States may become targets of violence. Taliban-led government.
The group’s Fast forward in Afghanistan In recent weeks, it occupied 26 of the country’s 34 capital cities before entering Kabul.
The United States and other countries have been eager to send diplomats out of the capital, but a U.S. defense official told Reuters that the United States has temporarily suspended all evacuation flights to clear airport personnel.
The Biden administration has been criticized for its “hurried withdrawal”, and some of them-especially Republican lawmakers- Draw parallel lines After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, the United States withdrew from Saigon.
“President Biden’s decision allows us to move towards a worse sequel to the humiliation and fall of Saigon in 1975,” Republican Supreme Senator Mitch McConnell said in a statement last week.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken Reject this comparison, Insisting that the US mission in Afghanistan was successful. “Remember, this is not Saigon,” Brinken told CNN on Sunday. “We took a mission to Afghanistan 20 years ago, and that mission was to deal with those who attacked us on 9/11-we successfully completed this mission.”
Biden July Early deadline Withdraw troops from Afghanistan and promised that all troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of August. But the U.S. has Forced to strengthen the deployment of troops For the evacuation work, there are now about 6,000 soldiers guarding the evacuation.
Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane reported from the Pentagon in Washington, DC on Monday that the US military has taken over command of Afghanistan’s airspace.
“But they can’t let any aircraft in and out until they let people off the runway and tarmac,” she reported, adding that the United States is trying to add 500 more soldiers to help evacuate, but this cannot happen unless the airport is clean.
Culhane said that the United States has indicated that it plans to evacuate 22,000 Afghans and their families on special immigrant visas — a process that is expected to take several days, with approximately 5,000 people being evacuated every day — but this has not yet begun.
“There is another big problem; the embassy told the people who are cooperating with the United States who are being hunted by the Taliban to take refuge in situ… But if they cannot pass the Taliban checkpoint, they are unlikely to reach the airport.”
‘Never talk about country building’
In his speech on Monday, Biden emphasized that withdrawing troops from Afghanistan is one of his presidential campaign promises, and expressed his opposition to the Pentagon’s proposal to increase troops to the country when he was Vice President Obama in 2009.
“This is not in our national security interests,” he said of the United States’ endless involvement in what he called the civil war in Afghanistan.
“Our mission in Afghanistan should never be about nation-building. It should never be about creating a unified, centralized democracy. Our only important national interest in Afghanistan today is still what it has always been-preventing terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. [the] Native American. “
But criticism continues in the US capital. John Brennan, who served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency under Obama, said that although he did not know what intelligence assessments were sent to the White House about how quickly things might be solved, “obviously they already knew.”
“This is because Afghans are very dependent on the US support system,” Brennan said in an interview with MSNBC on Monday. “Obviously, this is underestimated by the government.”
Jennifer Brick Murtazhashvili, associate professor and director of the Center for Governance and Markets at the University of Pittsburgh, told Al Jazeera, “A disaster [is] Is being staged” in Afghanistan.
“President Biden promised to the American people and promised to the Afghan people that we will completely withdraw, and we don’t see this at all now,” she said in an interview before Biden’s speech.
“We are seeing a disaster unfolding. Many people and many Afghans feel completely betrayed by what they see. Optical systems are bad for the Afghan people and the credibility of the United States. I think many Americans feel very much about what they see. Disappointed.”