‘I stand squarely behind my decision’: Biden defends handling of Afghanistan as Taliban forces seize Kabul

Written by on August 16, 2021

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Afghans cling onto U.S. airship because it takes off from Kabul airport

A number of have been in a position to maintain onto the airplane earlier than reportedly falling to their deaths shortly after takeoff.

Related Press, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden mentioned Monday he made the fitting name to drag American troops out of Afghanistan although he mentioned the Taliban’s swift seizure of Kabul unfolded quicker than anticipated.

“I stand squarely behind my resolution,” Biden mentioned throughout a speech on the White Home. 

Biden mentioned Afghan officers – together with former President Ashraf Ghani – had assured him Afghan forces would battle the insurgents.

“The reality is, this did unfold extra rapidly than we had anticipated,” Biden mentioned.

With out specifying any explicit errors that have been made, Biden mentioned the withdrawal course of has been “onerous and messy – and sure, removed from excellent.”

However Biden emphasised he’s honoring the dedication he made when he ran for president to deliver the army involvement to an finish.

The president interrupted a working trip at Camp David to make his first public feedback in regards to the Taliban’s takeover of the nation, a international coverage debacle – notably for a president who got here to the workplace with many years of international coverage expertise

He took no questions and rapidly went again to the presidential retreat.

David Axelrod, who was a high aide within the Obama administration, mentioned Biden made a compelling case for why the U.S. is leaving Afghanistan that may resonate with many Individuals.

“He didn’t do as effectively taking duty for HOW we obtained out, and the apparent failure to anticipate occasions,” Axelrod tweeted.

Specialists had warned that the Afghan army won’t be capable of maintain on after the the U.S. left.

Taliban fighters accomplished their sweep of the nation by seizing management of Afghanistan’s capital Sunday as American troops scrambled to evacuate 1000’s of U.S. diplomats and Afghans from the U.S. Embassy.

Biden mentioned there have been “gut-wrenching” scenes in Afghanistan. He defended efforts to shut the embassy and safe the airport to fly folks to security.

Addressing criticism about why the evacuation of Afghanis did not occur sooner, Biden mentioned some did not wish to go away as a result of they have been nonetheless hopeful in regards to the consequence. He mentioned the administration did not wish to set off a disaster of confidence. 

He mentioned he adopted by way of on a troop withdrawal plan developed through the administration of President Donald Trump.

“I do know my resolution will probably be criticized,” he mentioned.

Claiming “my share of responsibly” for what occurred, Biden mentioned he didn’t wish to move alongside an unsolvable drawback to yet one more president.

“I can not and won’t ask our troops to battle on endlessly overseas’s civil struggle,” he mentioned

Biden mentioned there “was by no means a superb time to withdraw US forces.”

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Taliban’s return in Afghanistan and what it means for US involvement

The Taliban has taken management of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Right here’s what a Taliban regime means for the nation and remainder of the world.

Simply the FAQs, USA TODAY

Afghan safety forces dissolved because the Taliban raced to Kabul in days. Protesters blocked entry to the airport.

Dozens of individuals jogged beside and in entrance of a army transport airplane, attempting to stop it from taking off. Some clung to the airplane and fell to their deaths because it ascended.

Earlier than Biden’s speech, Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., known as the autumn of Afghanistan to the Taliban “a humiliation for our nation and a victory for terrorists around the globe.”

McConnell mentioned america “deserted the ladies and kids of Afghanistan to those barbarians” and left behind 1000’s of Afghan allies. “We turned our backs on our buddies and left the nation in chaos,” mentioned the Senate’s high Republican.

Republicans and different critics mentioned Biden did an excessive amount of finger-pointing and never sufficient accepting duty for the mess in Afghanistan.

“Biden’s give up strengthens our terrorist enemies, palms them an enormous new caliphate, abandons our allies & ensures an extended, costlier struggle for years to come back,” tweeted Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

In a quick assertion, Trump mentioned, “It isn’t that we left Afghanistan. It is the grossly incompetent approach we left!”

Democrats usually stood behind Biden, however mentioned little in regards to the issues with the withdrawal. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., cited the president’s warnings to the Taliban about their habits, saying, “The world is watching its actions. We’re involved about stories relating to the Taliban’s brutal remedy of all Afghans, particularly ladies and ladies.”

Others mentioned there’s loads of blame to go round.

“I blame each Trump for this second coming, and Biden for this botched ending,” tweeted Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Sick. “I’m not choosing sides, as a result of each side have failed you. It’s the reality about #Afghanistan.”

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Taliban’s advance on Afghanistan checks Biden’s ‘America is again’ plan

The Taliban’s swift march throughout Afghanistan has compelled the U.S. to dispatch 1000’s of troops to assist evacuate U.S. Embassy personnel

Employees video, Wochit

Earlier than Biden made his temporary return from Camp David , nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan made the rounds of the information exhibits to defend the administration.

“The president needed to make the absolute best alternative he might, and he stands by that call,” Sullivan mentioned on NBC’s “In the present day” present.

However the Biden feedback that a lot of the media spotlight are the president’s earlier optimistic statements that it was “extremely unlikely” that the Taliban would overrun the complete nation after the U.S. withdrew from its 20-year involvement.

Republicans known as for Biden to – as Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., put it – “come out of hiding, and take cost of the mess he created.”

“President Biden must man up,” Sasse tweeted.

Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was equally blunt.

“Mr. President,” McCarthy tweeted, together with video of Afghans climbing aboard a taxiing U.S. Air Pressure jet, “do your job and tackle the nation.”

Biden, who left Washington on Thursday, had been scheduled to be in Camp David in Maryland by way of Wednesday. He had been out of sight save for a picture of him taking part in a videoconference that was launched Sunday by the White Home.

Biden’s speech within the East Room on Monday afternoon happened 5 weeks after he obtained defensive on whether or not it was inevitable that the Afghan authorities would collapse.

Biden mentioned Afghan troops have been “as well-equipped as any military on this planet.”

“The probability there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning every little thing and proudly owning the entire nation is very unlikely,” he mentioned. 

On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Sullivan defended Biden’s assertion.

“He thought the Afghan nationwide safety forces might step up and battle,” Sullivan mentioned.

On NBC’s “In the present day,” Sullivan acknowledged how a lot that evaluation was off. 

“The pace with which cities fell,” he mentioned, “was a lot better than anybody anticipated.”

On CBS’s “This Morning,” Sullivan mentioned Biden “was not ready to usher in a 3rd decade of struggle and put U.S. troops in hurt’s approach, combating and dying to attempt to maintain Afghanistan collectively when its personal armed forces wouldn’t battle to carry it collectively.”

“That is about onerous selections,” Sullivan mentioned, “and the selection he made he believes was within the nationwide safety curiosity of america.”

Contributing: Courtney Subramanian

Is Kabul ‘Biden’s Saigon? Photos of chaotic exit evoke comparisons to retreat from Vietnam


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