U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday that the U.S. military will complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan on Aug. 31, ahead of schedule, and has dismissed growing concerns over an unfolding civil war. in the country occupied by the United States since 2001.
“The mission is accomplished in what we have been Osama bin Laden and that terrorism does not come out of that part of the world,” Biden insisted, defending his decision to maintain the rapid recovery of the United States in the face of escalating Taliban attacks on Afghan forces.
The United States invaded Afghanistan after al-Qaeda attacks in New York and Washington in 2001. The United States withdrew about 3,500 troops remaining in a process that the U.S. military says is now 90% complete.
“Our military commanders warned me that once I made the decision to end the war, we needed to move quickly,” Biden said.
“In this context speed is security,” said the president, who is commander-in-chief of the army in the U.S. government system and who holds supreme authority over the deployment of troops.
The United States will continue to have hundreds of troops in Afghanistan to maintain security for the U.S. embassy and diplomatic community in Kabul as well as for the city’s airport. And U.S. officials said the military maintains an “above-the-horizon” capability to respond to events.
The American recovery follows a US agreement came under former President Donald Trump in talks led by US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad with the Taliban in Qatar. The United States has accepted that American and foreign forces part from 1 May. Instead, the Taliban have promised to negotiate a peace agreement with the Western-backed government in Kabul.
When Biden came to office in January, he was faced with a narrow choice to follow the deal with the Taliban or see American forces withdraw in an expanding war.
Biden said on Thursday that he and his top advisers had concluded that the only way to peace and stability in Afghanistan is through a negotiated agreement between the Western-backed Afghan government in Kabul, regional leaders and the West. Taliban.
“We are not going to Afghanistan to build the nation,” the president said.
In the first significant peace talks between the Kabul government and the Taliban in months, a government delegation met with Taliban representatives in Tehran on July 8th. The two sides at war issued a joint statement who said “war is not the solution to Afghanistan’s problem.”
It came when the Taliban claimed to have captured a major border crossing with Iran on Thursday, with the Taliban spokesman posting a video showing militant fighters taking the Islam Qala border crossing and being welcomed by the Taliban. local residents. It would be the third international border the group has taken, as its fighters are taking territory around the country.
A Pentagon spokesman said Thursday that Taliban fighters had taken dozens of district centers in Afghanistan.
“They’ve taken dozens of district centers, it’s true. And we think they want to threaten provincial centers as well,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
A Biden defense answered several questions shouted by reporters at the White House, refusing comparisons with the U.S. departure from Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War.
“No. No, no, no,” Biden says when asked if the United States is responsible for Afghan life lost after the recovery.
“It is up to the people of Afghanistan to decide what government they want, not to impose government on them.”
Biden denied that U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that the Afghan government would fall to the Taliban without the presence of U.S. forces. Biden meet at the White House with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and National Council President Abdullah Abdullah on June 25 and pledged to continue U.S. financial and diplomatic support to the government.
The Afghan army is well-trained and equipped, Biden said, and a takeover by the Taliban of Afghanistan is not inevitable. The United States has trained and equipped more than 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police even though the Afghan army still depends on U.S. and foreign contractors for air support.
“I don’t trust the Taliban but I trust the ability of the Afghan army,” Biden said.
Biden offered a message to the performers and other Afghans who have worked with the troops: “There is a home for you in the United States, if you choose, and we will stay with you as you have been with us.” .
Congress is advancing legislation that Biden advocates to eliminate bureaucratic obstacles to reassigning potential millennials of Afghans and their families to U.S. territory, potentially the Pacific island of Guam.