Monday, August 16, 2021
Withdrawal from Kabul
Biden warns Taliban of attack on US forces
US President Biden is making the public wait a surprisingly long time before commenting on the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan. He warns the new de facto rulers against attacking the withdrawing US forces. He also has a message for terrorist groups.
US President Joe Biden has threatened the Taliban with “a swift and strong” military response in the event of an attack on US forces. This applies to any action by the Taliban in Afghanistan that would endanger US personnel or their mission, Biden said in the White House.
Biden announced in the spring that the 2,500 or so remaining soldiers would leave Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the attacks. Most recently, the withdrawal date was brought forward to the end of August. In view of the fact that the Taliban took over power, the US military is increasing its presence again in order to secure the evacuation of embassy staff, American citizens and former Afghan employees of the US military. The US armed forces want to have up to 6,000 soldiers stationed at the airport in Kabul shortly.
Despite the Taliban’s rapid takeover of power, US President Joe Biden defended the withdrawal of the US military from Afghanistan that he had ordered. He said he was firmly committed to his decision. It would have made no difference if the US troops had stayed in Afghanistan a little longer, he said. This, too, could not have changed the Afghan security forces’ lack of willingness to fight. He was against “endless military operations,” stressed Biden. It was Biden’s first public statement since the militant Islamist Taliban actually took power in Afghanistan and the capital Kabul. He also emphasized that the original aim of the US operation in Afghanistan, the eradication of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda after the attacks of September 11, 2001, had long been achieved.
Biden also commented on the possibility that Afghanistan will again develop into a nest for terrorist groups in the future. In his opinion, the USA could effectively fight Islamist terror groups such as al-Qaeda even without a permanent military presence in the target country. The US military is showing this in other countries such as Somalia or Yemen, he said. If necessary, this could also be done in Afghanistan in the future, he said with a view to the imminent withdrawal of US troops.
The Taliban had once given refuge to al-Qaeda fighters and the then head of the terrorist organization, Osama bin Laden. The attacks by the terrorist group in the USA on September 11, 2001 then triggered the US-led military operation in Afghanistan, with which the Taliban were overthrown. You had ruled Afghanistan since 1996. Bin Laden was killed in May 2011 during an operation by US special forces in Pakistan.