WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — President Joe Biden said the full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is long overdue and added that whoever governs Afghanistan is something for their people to decide.
The President said the US accomplished the top objectives for the war in Afghanistan — killing Osama bin Laden and preventing new attacks after September 11, 2001.
“A military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31,” Biden said. “I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan, with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome.”
He said that over the past 20 years, 2448 American troops died in Afghanistan, with more than 20,000 injured. The US spent more than $1 trillion dollars training the Afghan military and he does not believe it is inevitable that Afghanistan will fall under the control of the Taliban.
“The Afghan troops have 300,000 well equipped, as well equipped as any army in the world, and an air force, against something like 75,000 Taliban,” Biden said. “It is not inevitable.”
The President acknowledge a civil war is possible after US forces leave but said along with our allies, the US will decide on how to respond if and when that happens. He will also take into consideration the threat posed to the United States.
The US is working to process visas for Afghan translators and others who helped US troops and that 2500 visas have already been approved, he said. Fewer than half of those people have elected to come to the US.