Biden: It’s Time for Afghanistan Forces ‘To Fight for Themselves’
“I do not regret my decision,” President Joe Biden told reporters yesterday when asked about the U.S. finally withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
Some 3,000 U.S. troops were scheduled to leave the area on May 1, per Trump administration orders after negotiations with Taliban leaders. But in April, Biden inexplicably pushed the withdrawal date back to September 11, despite Taliban threats to increase violence if the troops stayed beyond May. Then, in July, he again moved the withdrawal deadline, now to August 31.
“We spent over a trillion dollars, over 20 years. We trained and equipped with modern equipment over 300,000 Afghan forces,” Biden said Tuesday. “They’ve got to fight for themselves.”
Biden echoed Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, who said on Monday “it’s their country to defend now; this is their struggle.”
This is the right decision. As
The fundamentals of the war have remained unchanged since nearly the beginning. The Taliban insurgency can and will outlast the U.S. occupation and the U.S.-backed regime in Kabul is too corrupt and weak to establish itself as a sovereign. … The fact that we have failed to defeat the Taliban or to effectively establish a new government after almost 20 years of trying strongly suggests it is an unachievable mission and, far from a reason to stay longer, is in fact a compelling reason to leave as soon as possible.
If the U.S. really wants to help the country’s people (instead of just pursuing forever-war lust), it should open American borders to more Afghan immigrants.
“The first step is to restart the refugee program that was effectively canceled by President Donald Trump,” wrote Glaser and Nowrasteh back in April. “Biden said he wants to welcome 125,000 refugees, but he hasn’t taken the first step—authorizing an additional 62,500 this year—even though the presidential determination is sitting on his desk waiting for his signature. Biden could permit entry to 40,000 Afghans a year if he wanted to.”
“A second step would be to allow Americans to privately sponsor refugees at their own expense,” they add.
The Biden administration has started moving to welcome more refugees, though it’s been ridiculously slow moving and narrowly tailored.
The State Department finally announced earlier this month that it would allow more Afghan refugees, but only those who were associated with the U.S. government. “This designation expands the opportunity to permanently resettle in the United States to many thousands of Afghans and their immediate family members who may be at risk due to their U.S. affiliation but who are not eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV),” the Department said.
And “the program will not offer evacuation flights for these Afghan refugees, who would have to find a way to leave the country on their own,” NBC reported on August 2.
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