Joe Biden Defends Decision To End Afghan Military Operation
Mr Biden’s speech comes as the Taliban militant group continues to seize territory around the country.
He also denied that a Taliban takeover is “inevitable,” saying that the Taliban force of approximately 75,000 fighters is no match for the 300,000 Afghan security forces.
He was at pains to say support for Afghanistan wouldn’t stop, but even more adamant that both Afghan politicians and security forces had the capacity to prevent a Taliban takeover. “Will they do it?” he asked.
That’s what Afghans have asked – repeatedly – in the midst of continuing disarray and disunity in Kabul, and the dramatic Taliban advance in the districts.
The President’s emphasis on speaking out for women and girls isn’t heard in districts already under Taliban control where they’re not going to school.
As a president who’s known to study all the scenarios, he made it clear “it’s highly unlikely” there will be a unified government, and not much the US could do, or should do, if Kabul collapses. That’s up to Afghans – and the countries next door.
President Ashraf Ghani insists that Afghan security forces are fully capable of keeping insurgents at bay, but there have been reports of thousands of Afghan troops seeking refuge in other countries to avoid the fighting.
Earlier in the week, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told the BBC that the group was not responsible for the recent increase in violence. He insisted that many districts had fallen to the Taliban through mediation after Afghan soldiers refused to fight.