US President Joe Biden broke his silence for the first time since Taliban forces took over Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Sunday following the hasty withdrawal of the US troops from the country stationed there since 2001. In a press address in which the US President declined to take any questions, Biden lashed out at Afghanistan’s political leaders for failing to stand up against the Taliban following the US departure and declining to even put up the fights to defend at many places. By the end of his briefing, Biden evoked the historical claim of Afghanistan being “the graveyard of empires” and said that he was putting an end to America’s longest war, in a way which is “hard and messy and far from perfect”.
Biden said that the US goal in Afghanistan was never nation-building but to prevent “terrorist attacks on the US soil”, adding that the country had managed to meet its interest by ‘degrading Al-Qaeda’ and getting Osama Bin Laden.
Biden also said that he had inherited a Donald Trump-signed deal under which the US troops were already down from 15,500 to 2500 by the time he took over the presidency. “I had a tough choice. Either follow through (the Trump deal) or escalate the conflict,” Biden added.
Spent over a trillion dollars, couldn’t give Afghan troops will to fight: Biden
“We cannot fight a war they (Afghans) are not willing to fight themselves,” Biden said, adding that the US spent “over a trillion dollars” to build a 300,000 strong Afghan army which is a force larger than many of its NATO allies.
“We maintained their air force. We provided them (Afghan troops) salaries. But we could not provide them the will to fight for themselves,” Biden said. "How many more generations of American brothers and sisters would you have me sent to fight the Afghan civil war?" Biden asked.
Spoke to Ghani in July, they failed to clean up corruption: Biden
Biden said that he had a “frank conversation” with now fled Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani in July just when the last remaining US troops were to begin withdrawing. The US president added that he told Ghani to clean up corruption, try to find a diplomatic solution with “power-sharing” arrangements with the Taliban but he failed to do any of them.
“He (Ghani) said that Afghan forces would fight but he was wrong,” Biden said.
6,000 US troops deployed for evacuation in Afghanistan: Biden
The US President said that the country has deployed 6,000 additional US troops in Afghanistan to enable the safe evacuation of American officials and allies. “Our diplomatic presence is consolidated at the airport,” Biden said adding that the US has taken over the Air traffic control and after this evacuation, the “complete withdrawal of the US forces will be complete”.
Will defend our people with devastating force: Biden to Taliban if evacuation process attacked
Biden said that the Taliban has been clearly informed that the US will defend its people with “devastating force if needed”, warning the insurgent group against attacking the US assets or officials after taking over Kabul.
Biden said that while running for the US President, he had made a commitment to the American people that he will end America’s longest war. He added that the fulfilment of that commitment is “hard and messy and far from perfect”, but he has finally done it.