Democratic Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine said in a Wednesday interview that the U.S. military has done all it can during its 20 years in Afghanistan.
“The U.S. military has done what it can in 20 years. For ten years we degraded Al Qaeda and eventually killed bin Laden, and in the ten years since we’ve now trained nearly half a million Afghan army and police so that they can assume responsibility for the security of their own country. 20 years, we’ve done what we can,” Kaine said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Kaine said he recommended the withdrawal to the White House nearly two months ago.
The president is set to announce a deadline for all American troops to be out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, senior administration officials said. (RELATED: Joe Biden Believes There Is No Military Solution To Afghanistan, Psaki Says)
In 2020, former President Donald Trump agreed to pull all troops from the country by May 1, 2021, provided that the Taliban maintains their obligation to contain terrorism. The Taliban, however, has repeatedly broken their end of the agreement.
The Virginia Democrat said the Afghan people must be in charge of their country’s safety from now on and said the U.S. can help the country with “diplomacy and humanitarian aid and development.”
“The U.S. Military has done what it can and 21 years or 25 or 30 is not gonna appreciably change the situation,” Kaine said.
Kaine said the country’s current security priorities are mitigating China and Russia’s aggression through collaboration with American allies and “promoting prosperity and stability in the Americas.”
“The Middle East is no longer the top area of strategic, you know, engagement and challenge for the United States. It’s the Indo-Pacific and the Americas. Joe Biden wants to turn our attention and focus on what we need to do in 2021 and beyond,” Kaine said.
“We can’t want stability for Afghanistan more than the Afghans do. And we have invested heavily over 20 years with a military involvement, thousands dead, tens of thousands injured. It’s time to refocus our attention on the areas that in 2021 are the areas of most strategic importance to the U.S. military,” Kaine said.
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