US achieved its goals, Afghans must decide own future: President Joe Biden

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Jul 09, 2021, 10:16 AM(IST)

President Biden | Afghan troops Photograph:( AFP )

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The speech represented President Joe Biden's most extensive comments to date about the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. His remarks followed intense pressure from critics to give more explanation for his decision to pull the troops out even as Taliban continued to gain territory across the war-torn country.

President Joe Biden gave a significant policy speech on Afghanistan on Thursday, saying that the US had achieved its objectives in the country and that now was the right time to leave. 

He justified his decision to withdraw US military forces from Afghanistan, stating that rather than sacrificing another generation of Americans in an unwinnable conflict, the Afghan people must decide their own future. 

Speaking in the White House East Room, Biden said the Afghan military has the ability to repel the Taliban, whose major advances in recent weeks have raised fears the country will slide into civil war.

Also read: Afghan forces retake provincial capital from Taliban

Biden set a target date of August 31 for the final withdrawal of US forces, minus about 650 troops to provide security for the US embassy in Kabul.

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Biden, a longtime critic of the country's 20-year military presence, said the US has long since achieved its original goal of rooting out al-Qaeda terrorists and preventing another assault on the US like the one that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the attack, was killed by a US military team in 2011. 

“Our military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31st. The drawdown is proceeding in a secure and orderly way, prioritising the safety of our troops as they depart," Biden told reporters at the White House.

Biden dismissed reports that the Taliban would take over the country soon after the withdrawal of the American troops from Afghanistan.

(With inputs from agencies)

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