the United States had the choice between “the departure or the escalation” military, defends Joe Biden

His speech was expected. Twenty-four hours after the last American soldiers left Afghanistan, Joe Biden defended, Tuesday, August 31, the decision to withdraw his army from the country after twenty years of war, under the terms of the agreement made by his predecessor, Donald Trump, with the Taliban.

“We had only a simple choice left. Either follow the commitment made by the previous administration, and leave Afghanistan, or say that we are not leaving and send tens of thousands of soldiers back to war, said the President of the United States during a solemn speech at the White House. The real choice was between starting or climbing [militaire]. I was not going to prolong this Eternal War and I was not going to prolong the Eternal Withdrawal. “

Leaving Afghanistan was “The best decision” for the United States. He also defended that the terrorist threat, although it is still present, “ changed ” . “Our strategy must also change”, pleaded the president, who considers that China and Russia “Wanted the United States to get bogged down in Afghanistan for another decade”. He also judged that the mission was fulfilled: the United States has deployed troops in Afghanistan for bin Laden., “And he killed 10 years ago “. “The role of the American president is to defend the United States against the threats of today, not those of 2001.”

“The extraordinary success” of the evacuation mission

Under fire from criticism of the operation supervised by the US military at Kabul airport, Joe Biden then greeted “The extraordinary success” the evacuation mission of the Americans there and their allies.

“No country has ever achieved anything like it in history, said the US president. The extraordinary success of this mission is due to the incredible talent, bravery and selfless courage of the United States military, our diplomats and our intelligence professionals. “

Joe Biden explained that Washington estimates 100 to 200 Americans are still in Afghanistan “With the intention of leaving”. He added that most of those affected had dual citizenship and were long-time residents who had decided to stay. “The result is that 90% of Americans who were in Afghanistan and wanted to leave were able to leave., he said. For the Americans who remain, there is no deadline. We remain committed to getting them out if they want to. “

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The incapacity of the Afghan government, the role of Donald Trump

Joe Biden also criticized the inability of Ashraf Ghani’s government to organize a response to the Taliban offensive, which forced the United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to evacuate in emergency. He also stressed the role played by his predecessor, Donald Trump, in the current situation.

The Trump administration’s deal with the Taliban made it possible “The release of 5,000 prisoners last year, including some of the main Taliban officers, who are among those who have taken control” of the country, he stressed. “When I took office, the Taliban were militarily in their strongest position since 2001 since they controlled almost half of the country”, he added.

“I take responsibility for the decision. Some now say we should have started the mass evacuations earlier and ask if this could not have been done in a more orderly fashion. I respectfully disagree with them ”, Mr Biden said. Even if the evacuations had started in June or July, he assured, “There would still have been a rush to the airport” of people wishing to leave.

But, if American public opinion was initially mainly in favor of this withdrawal, as A poll published by Pew Research confirms this, Tuesday, the conditions of it have been much criticized in recent days and the popularity of the president has suffered.

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New threats

After the attack which killed a hundred Afghans, 13 American soldiers and two British near Kabul airport, Joe Biden warned the jihadist organization Islamic State in Khorassan (EI-K) that the United States did not ‘had some ” not finished “ with him.

“As Commander-in-Chief, I firmly believe that the best way to protect our security is through a tough, ruthless, focused and precise strategy that tracks terror where it is today. Not where she was two decades ago. “

Read also War in Afghanistan: a look back at twenty years of American presence

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