On August 16th, more than a day after the Taliban took control over Afghanistan, US President Joe Biden addressed the nation, commenting on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan that has resulted in collapse of the situation in the country.
Biden took his speech right after coming back to the White House from the retreat at Camp David.
In his speech, Joe Biden claimed once again that the decision to withdraw troops was correct, and that no amount of length of US presence wouldn’t have made any difference.
At the same time, he acknowledged that the situation in the country was developing faster than expected.
One of his main claims was that the US military should not die in a war that the Afghan military themselves refused to wage.
He blamed the political leadership of Afghanistan for giving up and fleeing, and the Afghan military for surrender to the Taliban.
“We gave them every tool they could need,” Biden said. “We gave them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide them, was the will to fight for that future. It is wrong to order American troops to step up when Afghanistan’s own forces would not.”
Joe Biden also blamed the former Afghan president Ghani for the failed US evacuation. He claimed that Ghani pressured the Americans into staying in the country until the very last moment.
Ghani reportedly did so trying to avoid triggering “a crisis of confidence” in coutry’s leadership.
“If the political leaders of Afghanistan were unable to come together for the good of their people, unable to negotiate for the future of their country while the chips were down, they would never have done so while US troops remained in Afghanistan bearing the brunt of the fighting for them.”
“Afghanistan’s political leaders gave up and fled the country,” he said, claiming that Ghani’s abdication “reinforces that ending US military involvement now was the right decision.”
Biden’s accusations also targeted the former US president Donald Trump. He was blamed for making a deal with the Taliban that included the withdrawal ofthe US troops by May 1. Biden administration later extended the deadline through August 31.
Joe Biden did not forget to mention Russia and China, which would like the US to endlessly pump money into Afghanistan.
At the same time, he threatened a military response to the Taliban in case of attacks on Americans.
“If [the Taliban] attack our personnel or disrupt our operation…we will defend our people with devastating force if necessary,” Biden warned.
He also celebrated the destruction of Al-Qaeda and the killing of Osama Bin Laden, highlighting that the “mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building.”
“Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland.”
Biden said that once the evacuation is complete, the US would “end America’s longest war,” as he promised during the 2020 campaign.
“I am president of the United States, and the buck stops with me.”
He assured that the US military would continue to secure Kabul Airport, and protect the evacuation from the country, restore civilian and military service. He also said that the US diplomatic mission had been “consolidated” at the airport after fleeing the embassy.
“Over the coming days we intend to transport out thousands of American citizens who have been living and working in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that this also include allied personnel and Afghan refugees who were working with US bodies.
Biden’s address lasted for 20 minutes. After that, he did not take any questions from the reporters.
Probably, he was hurrying up to leave Washington again. The FAA reportedly imposed new flight restrictions in Wilmington, where he stays during his presidential retreat.
The FAA has issued Temporary Flight Restrictions for the rest of the week in Wilmington. Looks like Joe Biden is going right back on vacation after addressing the nation.
— Jordan Schachtel @ dossier.substack.com (@JordanSchachtel) August 16, 2021
It seems that the top officials in Washington are now avoiding the necessity to provide more comments on the disastrous situation in Afghanistan. White House press secretary Jen Psaki followed her president and took the week off, too, according to her out-of-office responses to any email from media.