Afghanistan has been taken over by the Taliban after US troops left the country. Since 2001, the American troops were fighting in Afghanistan against the Taliban and to maintain peace there. In August 2021, President Biden ordered the troops to come back home. However, the president was criticized for his move. Nevertheless, he defended his decision in the speech.
In the speech, he said that the US mission was not focused on “nation-building.” His statement came after thousands of people were gathered at the airport to leave the country after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. Just after the country’s invasion, Biden commented that the group’s take over on the country was rapid than anticipation. “I stand squarely behind my decision,” he said in a telecasted speech.
“If anything, the developments of the past week reinforce that ending US military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision. American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves,” Biden said. A group of Taliban attacked the Afghan presidential palace on Sunday, right after President Ashraf Ghani left the country. According to Russian Embassy, Ghani fled the country with a load of cash in 4 cash and one helicopter. Afghan’s president later said that his move was to avoid bloodshed in the country. However, he was slammed for his unpatriotic move.
During the speech, he stressed on the fact that he had opposed the Pentagon’s orders of deploying more troops in Afghanistan during Barack Obama’s presidential tenure. “It was never supposed to be to create a unified, centralized democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been – preventing a terrorist attack on [the] American homeland.”
Biden Administration Criticized for its Decision
Some of the Republican lawmakers criticized Biden’s move as a “hasty withdrawal” of US troops from Afghanistan. They referred to the US departure in the midst of the Vietnam war. Last week, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said that “President Biden’s decisions have us hurtling toward an even worse sequel to the humiliating fall of Saigon in 1975.” Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken opposed the comparison stating that “We went to Afghanistan 20 years ago with one mission, and that mission was to deal with the folks who attacked us on 9/11 – and we have succeeded in that mission.”
Many of them criticized Biden for being inhuman in the crisis of Afghanistan. “There was a refusal here to acknowledge the scope of the humanitarian crisis that is taking shape in Kabul right now and throughout the country,” Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, associate professor of public and international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, told Al Jazeera.
Helping Afghans to Evacuate
Al Jazeera’s reporter Patty Culhane reported that the US military has taken control of Afghan airspace. She added that even though the military has taken the command, they cannot land or get the plane out as runways have been chaotically filled with Afghans. “The US is trying to get another 500 soldiers in to help with the evacuation, but that cannot happen unless the airfield is clear,” Culhane reported. Pentagon said on Monday that it will send 1,000 troops to secure the Afghan airfield. It also said the soldiers have killed two armed individuals in Kabul.
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that “we cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan.” He told the Security Council that “I am particularly concerned by accounts of mounting human rights violations against the women and girls of Afghanistan.” Meanwhile, Afghan Ambassador Ghulam M. Isaczai told the UN that it should call for every action to end violence and slaughter of human rights in the country. “There is no time for a blame game anymore,” he told the Security Council.