Biden: US operation in Afghanistan ends on August 31 | free press


The US operation in Afghanistan should end on September 11. Now the mission ends a little earlier – although the Taliban advance.

Washington (AP) – President Joe Biden says the US military operation in Afghanistan will end on Aug. 31.

“The withdrawal is safe and orderly,” Biden said in a speech from the White House. “I’m not going to send another generation of Americans to the war in Afghanistan.”

Biden admitted that the militant Islamist Taliban are now stronger than at any time since the fall of their regime in late 2001. However, a takeover by the Taliban is “not inevitable.” The US president pointed out that the Afghan security forces were well equipped.

Originally, Biden had announced September 11 as the deadline for the end of the mission. Then it will be 20 years since the terrorist attacks of the terrorist network Al-Qaeda in the US, which started the operation. Despite the looming situation, Biden would not admit a failure of the US mission. He said the operation had two goals: to take Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden “to the gates of hell” and to deprive the terror network of the ability to attack the United States from Afghanistan. “We have achieved both goals.”

Biden stressed that against this backdrop, the withdrawal was “frankly too late.” Indignantly, he denied whether the US would be responsible for civilian casualties in the event of a Taliban takeover or civil war. He rejected parallels to the American defeat in the Vietnam War. Biden called on political leaders in Afghanistan to unite and come to an agreement with the Taliban.

The US troops left their main base Bagram late last week. The Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that the withdrawal was more than 90 percent complete. The departure of the American soldiers also means the end of the NATO mission in Afghanistan. The Bundeswehr flew out the last German soldiers last week. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that the majority of British units had also withdrawn.

Even after the end of the US military mission, US troops will remain in Afghanistan, according to the US Department of Defense, to protect the US embassy and possibly the airport in the capital Kabul. The Washington Post reported that 650 to 1,000 soldiers could be involved.

During the election campaign, Biden had already pledged to end “eternal wars” in the US like the one in Afghanistan — his predecessors in the White House had failed because of the project. More than 1,800 US soldiers have been killed in attacks or clashes since the mission began in Afghanistan in October 2001. More than 20,000 were injured.

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