Biden defends decision to end Afghan military operation.

Written by on July 9, 2021

US President Joe Biden has defended his decision to withdraw military forces from Afghanistan, saying that US operations will end on 31 August.

The fourth US president to oversee the war also defended the speed of the US withdrawal, saying it saved lives.

Mr Biden’s speech comes as the Taliban militant group continues to seize territory around the country.

US forces have fought in Afghanistan for nearly 20 years, following the terror attacks of 11 September 2001.

Earlier this year, Mr Biden set a 11 September 2021 goal of withdrawing all US troops.

Donald Trump had agreed with the Taliban to pull out US troops by May 2021, but that deadline was pushed back by Mr Biden after he took office in January.

“Just one more year of fighting in Afghanistan is not a solution,” Mr Biden said in a White House speech, “but a recipe for fighting there indefinitely.”

He also denied that a Taliban takeover is “inevitable,” saying that the Taliban force of approximately 75,000 fighters is no match for the 300,000 Afghan security forces.

Even after the total pull out is complete, the US is expected to keep 650 to 1,000 troops in Afghanistan to guard the US embassy, Kabul airport, and other key government installations.

Recent polls have shown broad US support for leaving Afghanistan, with Republican voters more sceptical of the decision to withdraw.

Mr Biden also said that efforts are being made to get translators, interpreters and other Afghans that worked with the US government out of the country. He said 2,500 special immigrant visas have been been issued to allow them to come to the United States, but only half have come so far.

Last month, Mr Biden assured Afghan leaders at a White House meeting that US aid will continue.

Credit: BBC


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