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Joe Biden is ready to launch his strongest defense yet from America’s chaotic exit from Afghanistan, a day after the last US troops flew out of Kabul airport end their 20-year military presence in the country.
In remarks scheduled for 14:45 local time in the White House, the US president will seek to cover up the biggest national security crisis since his inauguration in January, and criticize that his administration mishandled the withdrawal.
A few hours later, his speech is expected Taliban powers took control of Kabul airport and completed their rapid and astonishing takeover of the country, while the Afghan government disappeared over the past month.
Biden has long believed in the need to end America’s military presence in Afghanistan, and decided in April to proceed with exit plans in early September. But the withdrawal became disorderly and deadly, with a terrorist attack by Isis-K last week killed numerous Afghans and 13 US troops, while US and coalition forces made a desperate attempt to evacuate more than 100,000 people from the country.
“[Biden] will set out his decision to end the war in Afghanistan after 20 years, including the difficult decisions he has taken in the last seven months since taking office, “White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday. “He will make it clear that as president he will approach our foreign policy through the prism of what is in our national interest, including how best to preserve the American people.”
Biden made the remarks in a written statement Monday night, saying the decision not to expand the U.S. presence in Afghanistan comes after a unanimous recommendation from the Joint Chiefs [of Staff] and of all our commanders on the ground to end our mission as planned “on the grounds that it was” the best way to protect the lives of our troops and secure the prospects of civilian departure for those wishing to leave Afghanistan in the weeks and months ahead ”.
But the planned end of the US presence in Afghanistan has left up to 200 US citizens and many more vulnerable Afghans in the country, where they are in danger of retaliation from the Taliban forces.
Officials from the Biden administration said that although the evacuation efforts of the military had ended, they would continue their diplomatic efforts to get people who want to leave the country. But it depends on the Taliban fulfilling its promise to allow the ‘safe passage’ of Afghan citizens to other countries, which Biden urged them to do again on Monday.
“The Taliban have made commitments to ensure a safe passage and the world will abide by their commitments. “This will include continued diplomacy in Afghanistan and coordination with partners in the region to reopen the airport so that people who want to leave and can leave humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan,” he said.
After US troops left Kabul, concerns arose that the Taliban would gain control of the US military equipment they had abandoned in the last rush to leave. However, U.S. officials said several Chinook helicopters that were still at the airport were “unusable” before departure, and that they denied reports that they had left U.S. military working dogs in cages at the airport.
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