Biden Defends Decision to Withdraw Military Forces From Afghanistan

United States President Joe Biden on July 8 defended his decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, insisting that the U.S. had nothing more it could do after two decades of war.

In a speech at the White House, Biden said that the U.S. will end military operations in Afghanistan by Aug. 31 and will not send more troops to fight, adding that it was up to Afghanistan to defend their country.

“I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome,” Biden said.

“We did not go to Afghanistan to nation build. It’s the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country,” Biden also said.

Biden said that he believed that the Afghan military had the capacity to defend itself from the Taliban, noting that Afghanistan had 300,000 security forces while the Taliban had around 75,000 fighters.

A Taliban takeover was not “inevitable,” Biden said as Taliban forces have advanced to northern territories in Afghanistan in recent days.

However, Biden also said that the U.S. will continue to provide civilian and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, including defending the rights of women and girls.

Biden also said that his administration has been working to get translators, interpreters, and other Afghans that worked with the U.S. government out of the country, however the visa process has been slow.

According to Biden, 2,500 special immigrants visas have been issued to allow the Afghan workers to come to the U.S., but only half have come so far.

Earlier this year, Biden set the goal of withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. 

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