US President Joe Biden says troop withdrawal from Afghanistan was “a logical, rational and fair move”
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the United States was about to complete the withdrawal of its troops after a costly two-decade war
In the face of criticism over his policies in Afghanistan, US President Joe Biden has defended his decision to withdraw US troops from the war-torn country, saying history will record this as a “logical, rational and just decision.”
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the United States was ready to complete the withdrawal of its troops after a costly two-decade war.
Insurgents stormed the country, capturing all major cities within days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the United States and its allies vanished.
Thousands of Afghan nationals and foreigners are fleeing the country to escape the new Taliban regime and seek asylum in various countries, including the United States and many European countries, causing utter chaos at Kabul airport and dead.
The Biden administration has been criticized, especially the opposition Republican Party, for withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan as the Taliban took power, resulting in chaos and death.
However, the US president upheld his decision.
“I think history will record that it was the logical, rational and fair decision to make,” he told reporters during a White House interaction on Aug. 22.
Indo-American politician and former US envoy Nikki Haley said earlier today: âThey [the U.S. administration] surrendered the American people and in fact withdrew our troops before they removed the American people.
âThey abandoned our Afghan allies who were protecting people like my husband while they were deployed overseas. So, no, there was no negotiation. It was a complete and utter surrender and an embarrassing failure, âshe said.
Mr Biden said the Taliban had to make a fundamental decision.
“Will the Taliban try to unite and ensure the well-being of the Afghan people, which no group has ever done?” And if it does, it will need everything, more help, in terms of economic aid, trade and a whole range of things, âhe said.
âThe Taliban have said – we’ll see if they think so or not – that they are looking for legitimacyâ¦ to determine whether or not they will be recognized by other countries. They told other countries as well as us that they did not want us to completely relocate our diplomatic presence. It’s all just talking now, âBiden said.
He said the Taliban had so far taken no action against US forces, broadly following what they had said in terms of letting the Americans through.
âI’m sure they’re not in full control of their strength. It is a motley force. And so we’ll seeâ¦ whether what they say is true or not, âhe said.
Mr Biden said that within 36 hours, the United States had brought about 11,000 people out of Kabul.
âIn just over 30 hours this weekend, we evacuated an extraordinary number of people, as I will detail in a minute: approximately 11,000 people. This number will change from day to day as air and ground operations in Kabul vary, âhe said.
The first priority is to get Americans out of the country as quickly and safely as possible, he said.
âOn my instructions, the State Department continues to contact the remaining Americans we have identified by phone, email and other means to determine their whereabouts and their plans,â he said.
The United States is also evacuating citizens of NATO allies and their partners, including their diplomats, embassy personnel who remain in Afghanistan and also returning them to their homes.
âIn doing this, we are also working to move our Afghan allies, who have supported us side by side, and other vulnerable Afghans such as women leaders and journalists, out of the country.
âAs of this morning, we have evacuated nearly 28,000 people since August 14, on US and coalition planes, including civilian charter flights, bringing the total number we have evacuated since July. to around 33,000 people, âhe said.
In a 24-hour period this weekend, 23 US military flights – including 14 C-17s, 9 C-130 flights – left Kabul with 3,900 passengers, Biden said.
âWe see no reason why this tempo should not be maintained. During the same period, our military facilitated 35 other charter flights carrying nearly 4,000 additional evacuees to other countries which are withdrawing them, âhe added.