President Joe Biden vowed Thursday not to send troops back into Afghanistan, despite reports of Taliban takeovers, amid the ongoing withdrawal process from Afghanistan.
As the Taliban continues taking over more and more territories – and amid reports that the Afghan military has at times waved the white flag during these takeovers – Biden declared he “trusts the capacity of” the military. The president called them “better trained, better equipped and more competent in terms of conducting war” than the Taliban.
The Taliban has been quickly taking over military outposts and districts across the region as the U.S. withdraws, sparking major concerns of the possible collapse. Biden pushed back on reports that the intelligence community has concluded the Afghan government will likely collapse, telling reporters this “is not true.”
“The Afghan government and leadership has to come together. They clearly have the capacity to sustain the government in place,” Biden said. “The question is, will they generate the kind of cohesion to do it. It is not a question of whether they have the capacity. They have the capacity. They have the forces. They have the equipment. The question is will they do it.”
“I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome,” Biden also said.
An Associated Press report in May detailed the struggle of the Afghan forces and highlighted the vast corruption present throughout its ranks. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) national security analyst Anthony H. Cordesman previously told the Daily Caller that the region is partially corrupt because it’s “dependent on outside financing.”
“The massive influx of U.S. dollars for assistance programs, construction and contractors, together with the deeply rooted and extensive narcotics trade, turbocharged corruption,” former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates detailed in an opinion piece published by The New York Times.”
“It even extended to Afghan security forces: Promotions were for sale, officers stole troops’ wages and weapons appeared on the black market. Of course, many Afghan soldiers fought courageously to protect their country from the Taliban. But for many other Afghan soldiers, there was simply little motivation,” Gates added.
Biden announced the mission “will conclude on August 31,” ahead of the former Sept. 11 deadline for the withdrawal. The president’s new deadline comes amid a faster-than-anticipated drawdown process. (RELATED: Taliban Takeover Of Critical Areas During Biden Withdrawal Suggests Grim Future For Afghanistan)
Biden further said he would shift his focus to COVID-19, the “existential threats of climate change” and competition from China.
The drawdown has raised questions on how the thousands of Afghans who helped America will be evacuated and accepted into the U.S. Biden promised those individuals a home in America if they want it during his remarks.
“There is a home for you in the United States, if you so choose,” Biden declared. “And we will stand with you just as you stood with us.”
The president explained that 2,500 special immigrant visas have been approved since his inauguration, but “fewer than half” of the interpreters and translators “have exercised their right to do that.” He also noted that visas continue to be processed and briefly detailed how the administration is beginning to relocate individuals who decide to leave the region.
“And those who have stood up for the operation through physically relocate [sic] thousands of Afghans and their families before the U.S. military mission concludes so that if they choose they can wait safely outside of Afghanistan while their U.S. Visas are being processed,” Biden explained, reiterating previously reported information on evacuees being sent to other countries.
The president, during a question and answer session with reporters, continued on to issue a clear opinion on the war, saying he “opposed permanently having American forces in Afghanistan.” (RELATED: Joe Biden Refuses To Answer Further Questions About Afghanistan In Testy Exchange With Reporters)
“No nation has ever unified Afghanistan,” the president explained. “No nation. Empires have gone there and not done it. The focus we had, and I strongly supported it, and you may remember I physically went to Afghanistan. I was up in that pass where Osama bin Laden was allegedly escaped or out of harm’s way. We went for two reasons. One, to bring Osama bin Laden to the ‘gates of hell,’ as I said at the time.”
“The second reason was to eliminate Al Qaeda’s capacity to deal with more attacks on the United States from that territory,” he continued. “We accomplished both of those objectives, period. That’s what I believed from the beginning, why we should be — why we should have gone to Afghanistan. That job had been over for some time. That’s why I believe that this is the right decision and, quite frankly, overdue.”