United States Retreats from Afghanistan 2021

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Abbie Ingalls, Staff

After two decades of war in Afghanistan, America has decided to pull troops from base because of Afghanistans’ military refraining to help the in the fight against the terrorist organization, the Taliban’s, attempt to overthrow the current Afghan government. President Joe Biden defended his decision against those who have criticized the move. 

“It is wrong to order American troops to step up when Afghanistan’s own armed forces would not,” Biden said remarks made in the White House Briefing Room on August 16, 2021.

The original mission of the U.S. in the 90’s was to put sanctions on trade, war ships, funding and travel of Afghani people and, as a result, the Taliban. The ultimate goal was to control the country after the collapse of its soviet roots. In spite of this, as the U.S. came to help the Northern Alliance (an anti-Talib group), the Talibs rose to power underground.

Over time, America’s mission changed from sanctions on the country to saving the people from terrorism but Biden claims spreading democracy was not part of the original agenda.

“Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation building.  It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy,” Biden said in his remarks.  

 

The withdraw of a foreign country from Afghanistan is not unfamiliar. Russia pulled out of Afghanistan in the early 90’s thus leading the US to occupy Afghani land. The Soviets relinquished their foothold because they felt there was no further reason to siege the land; there were no resources, political charge, or real reason to stay. 

The New York Times reported that America spent over $2 trillion on the war efforts in Afghanistan as well as support to the budding afghan military and police forces. America’s taxpayers were paying millions for a war that was rarely discussed. Over the years there were thousands of troops that were sent across the world. 

This is not the first time that this has happened in the world; there are dozens of instances where a large first world country has pulled out of a country without infrastructure and stable government. The latest information is that the democratically elected Afghani president has fled the country to neighboring Tajikistan conceding that the Taliban had won.

In his closing remarks, Biden recognized the critiques of his decision but ultimately took responsibly for the choices made by him and his administration and closed with support of the Americans still attempting to evacuate Afghanistan.

“May God protect our troops, our diplomats, and all of the brave Americans serving in harm’s way,” Biden said.

 

To read Biden’s remarks in their entirety please go to: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/08/16/remarks-by-president-biden-on-afghanistan/