“Last night in Kabul, the United States ended 20 years of war,” President Joe Biden said in his first speech after completing the United States’ exit from Afghanistan. “The real choice was between leaving or escalation. I was not going to extend this war forever. Neither was withdrawal.”
Biden defined the evacuation as an “extraordinary success” that could have been made possible thanks to the capabilities of its military, diplomats and intelligence officials.RELATED
The president assumed his responsibility. “In April, I made the decision to end this war. We decided that on August 31 we would withdraw US troops,” but he highlighted the delicate situation of the Afghan government to deal with the situation.
“We assumed that the more than 300,000 Afghan security forces, which we trained in the past two decades, would be strong in a civil war with the Taliban. That assumption was not correct.”
Amid criticism surrounding the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden gave a speech on Tuesday to justify his decision not to extend the presence of his country’s troops beyond August 31.
Still, Biden remarked that they successfully completed the evacuation of more than 120,000 people. “That number is more than double what many experts thought was possible,” Biden said.
This Tuesday the deadline set by Biden for the withdrawal of US troops expired, a date that he decided to keep despite pressure from European allies to extend the calendar.
After confirming the end of the longest war in the US this Monday, the president explained the “unanimous” recommendation of the Defense General Staff and “all” the commanders on the ground was to end the air mission “as it was. provided”.
Biden added that, according to the point of view of the military leaders, the best way to protect the soldiers and ensure the possibilities of exit for civilians who want to leave Afghanistan in the coming weeks and months.
“The world is changing. We are in serious competition with China,” the president said, reaffirming that his priority is not now placed on the Middle East but on new global challenges, including Russia and cyberattacks.
This Monday, the US ended the evacuations, closed its airlift with Kabul and left the capital controlled by the Taliban, who celebrated with shots in the air. The last US military plane, a C-17, took off from the airport in the Afghan capital at 3:29 p.m. from the US east coast, before midnight in Kabul.
According to the White House, more than 120,000 people have been evacuated from Kabul since August 14, a figure that includes evacuees from countries other than the US. Among them are 6,000 Americans.
But it is feared that many thousands of vulnerable Afghans working for US and NATO missions have been left behind, and testimonies are common. of fear, pain and rage among those who say they feel abandoned after the end of international evacuations.
Shortly after the last American troops left Afghanistan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken he said he thinks there is still a “small number of Americans, less than 200 and probably closer to 100”, who remain in the country and want to leave. “We are trying to find out exactly how many.”
During his speech this Monday, Blinken announced a “new chapter” of the US in the Central Asian country after two decades of military conflict. “A new chapter in the US engagement with Afghanistan has begun. It is one in which we will lead with our diplomacy. The military mission has ended. A new diplomatic mission has begun.”