Biden Says US War in Afghanistan Will End August 31
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday said the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on Aug. 31, saying “speed is safety” as the United States seeks to end the nearly 20-year war.
“We did not go to Afghanistan to nation build,” Biden said in a speech to update his administration’s ongoing efforts to wind down the U.S. war. “Afghan leaders have to come together and drive toward a future.”
Biden also amplified the justification of his decision to end U.S. military operations even as the Taliban make rapid advances in significant swaths of the country. The administration in recent days has repeatedly sought to frame ending the conflict as a decision that Biden made after concluding it’s an “unwinnable war” and one that “does not have a military solution.”
“How many more, how many more thousands of American daughters and sons are you willing to risk?” Biden said to those calling for the U.S. to extend the military operation. He added, “I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan, with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome.”
Biden said he didn’t trust the Taliban but trusted the capacity of the Afghan military to defend the government.
Before his speech, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden administration officials always anticipated an “uptick” in violence and greater turmoil as the U.S. withdrawal moved forward. She added that prolonging U.S. military involvement, considering former President Donald Trump had already agreed to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 2021, would have led to an escalation of attacks on American troops.
“The question fundamentally facing him was after 20 years was he going to commit more American troops to a civil war in Afghanistan,” Psaki said.
Biden said it was “highly unlikely” that one government will control Afghanistan after the U.S. pullout, and urged the Afghan government to reach a deal with the Taliban.
The president added that there is no “mission accomplished” moment as the U.S. war comes to an end.
“The mission was accomplished in that we got Osama bin Laden and terrorism is not emanating from that part of the world,” he said.
U.S. forces earlier this week vacated Bagram Airfield — the U.S. epicenter of the conflict to oust the Taliban and hunt down the al-Qaida perpetrators of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. that triggered the war.
Remaining U.S. troops are now concentrated in Kabul, the capital. The Pentagon said the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, is expected to end his tour of duty later this month as final arrangements are made for a reduced U.S. military mission.
Biden in recent days has bristled at reporters when asked about the drawdown and the security situation in Afghanistan. Asked last week at an event to highlight a strong jobs report whether he was concerned that the Afghan government could fall in a matter of months, he didn’t hide his annoyance.
Biden, answering questions from reporters after his remarks on Thursday, said that Kabul falling to the Taliban would not be an acceptable outcome. But the president also pushed back against the notion that such a scenario was certain.
“Do I trust the Taliban? No,” Biden said. “But I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped and more competent in terms of conducting war.”
In The News
The United States has threatened to issue new sanctions against members of the Tigray conflict in northwestern Ethiopia. The conflict,... Read More
The United States has threatened to issue new sanctions against members of the Tigray conflict in northwestern Ethiopia. The conflict, which has continued to deteriorate the stability of the region, has grown since last November. White House officials have said that the parties to the conflict... Read More
The White House is warning state and local governments about severe cuts to disaster relief, Medicaid, infrastructure grants. school money... Read More
The White House is warning state and local governments about severe cuts to disaster relief, Medicaid, infrastructure grants. school money and other programs if Congress fails to raise the U.S. debt limit. A fact sheet for state and local officials that was obtained by The Associated... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that the United States is forming a new Indo-Pacific security alliance with... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that the United States is forming a new Indo-Pacific security alliance with Britain and Australia that will allow for greater sharing of defense capabilities — including helping equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. It's a move that could deepen... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden was meeting Wednesday with the CEOs of Walt Disney and Columbia Sportswear, and other... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden was meeting Wednesday with the CEOs of Walt Disney and Columbia Sportswear, and other business executives and leaders leaders to discuss his recently announced vaccine requirement for companies that employ at least 100 people. The White House meeting comes less... Read More
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — While legislators craft the details back in Washington, President Joe Biden is pitching his massive... Read More
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — While legislators craft the details back in Washington, President Joe Biden is pitching his massive domestic spending package with a visit to a renewable energy lab in Colorado to highlight how the investments in clean energy in his plan would help... Read More
NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden is making an appeal for the nation to reclaim the spirit of cooperation... Read More
NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden is making an appeal for the nation to reclaim the spirit of cooperation that sprung up in the days following the 9/11 terror attacks as he commemorates those who died 20 years ago. Biden was a senator when hijackers... Read More