WASHINGTON: It is impossible to integrate Afghanistan under a single administration, according to US President Joe Biden, who declared on Thursday that it had pulled his forces out of Afghanistan.
He also stated that the United States had been “spending a billion dollars a week in Afghanistan for 20 years” and could not afford to continue doing so indefinitely.
In August of last year, the Biden administration began withdrawing soldiers from Afghanistan, leaving behind a vacuum that was quickly filled by the Taliban. When the Taliban seized Kabul on August 15, they overthrew the government, sponsored by the United States and installed their own. Afghanistan’s constitution guarantees women’s and religious minorities’ rights, which the United States has repeatedly urged the Taliban to safeguard. The Taliban, however, have refused.
“Let’s take Afghanistan. I know you all would like to focus on that, which is legitimate,” said President Biden while responding to his government’s supposed ineptitude.
“Raise your hand if you think anyone was going to unify Afghanistan under one government,” he said, “It’s been the graveyard of empires for a solid reason: It is not susceptible to unity.”
A year after taking office, he had to determine whether to “continue spending that much money every week in the state of Afghanistan, knowing that the concept of being able to succeed—other than shipping more corpse bags back home—is extremely, highly unlikely.” It thus made his decision to depart Afghanistan.
Surveys taken following the US pullout show that a large majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the choice to leave the country. “Two-thirds of all Americans and over seven in ten veterans” were dissatisfied with the choice, according to a recent study.
Many of these veterans have served repeated tours of service in Afghanistan, according to the Brookings Institution. “They are furious about the withdrawal, 73% feel misled, and 67% feel embarrassed,” the Brookings Institution noted. They are upset over the pullout.
In an attempt to alleviate their concerns, Vice President Biden stated that after 20 years in Afghanistan, there was no simple path out. The situation was not practical. In addition, he said, “I make no excuses for what I did.”
There would have been “between 20 and 50,000 additional troops” needed if the US had stayed in Iraq, according to the military’s own assessment.
To his critics’ attention, Mr Biden pointed out that it was his predecessor Donald Trump who had signed an agreement with the Taliban requiring the United States to withdraw its forces by the deadline of May 15, 2021.