President Joe Biden underlines once again that the Afghan exit was the ‘only right decision’. Washington’s focus now is China and Russia, not turning countries around through military interventions.
“No country in history has done more to evacuate compatriots from a country other than us,” Joe Biden said in a speech from the White House on Tuesday.
The speech came 24 hours after the last American soldier left Afghanistan. The American president called that more than 120,000 Americans and Afghan allies were evacuated thanks to the hurriedly set up airlift, an ‘extraordinary success’.
Biden counteracted that the withdrawal was chaotic due to the Taliban’s rapid reconquest of the country, arguing that such missions always come with ‘challenges’. According to Biden, the military departure from the country is the right choice.
“From the bottom of my heart. This was a wise decision, the best decision for America’, says Biden. The president pointed to the cost of 20 years of presence in the country: 2,000 billion dollars. ‘That’s 300 million dollars a day for two decades.’
According to Biden, the objectives of the military intervention had also long been achieved. ‘More than ten years ago, Al-Qaeda was already decimated. (…) I do not believe that the security of America will be enhanced by deploying thousands of troops and spending billions in Afghanistan, ” Biden said. ‘This decision is not just about Afghanistan. It puts an end to an era of major military operations designed to turn other countries.’
The withdrawal agreement that former President Donald Trump concluded with the Taliban left Biden, according to his own words, no choice but to leave. ‘Either you follow the promise of the previous government and leave Afghanistan, or you say we will not leave and send tens of thousands of troops to war again.’
China and Russia
Thanks to the departure, the US will be able to focus on their real international opponents, China and Russia. ‘We are in a serious battle with China. We are facing challenges on various fronts with Russia. We face cyber attacks and nuclear proliferation. (…) There is nothing China and Russia would rather have than the US being stuck in Afghanistan for another decade, ” Biden said.
For Islamic State, the terrorist group that committed two attacks in Kabul last week, Biden had an unmistakable message. “We’re not done with you. We won’t forget that. We will hunt you down to the end of the world and you will pay the ultimate price.’