US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday vigorously defended the choice of the Biden administration to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, which has resulted within the Taliban recapturing energy within the war-torn nation and the collapse of the US-backed democratically elected regime.
President Joe Biden in April introduced that every one American troops could be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11 this yr, thus bringing to finish the nation’s longest battle, spanning throughout twenty years.The Taliban seized energy in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks earlier than the US was set to finish its troop withdrawal.“There’s no evidence that staying longer would have made the Afghan security forces or the Afghan government any more resilient or self-sustaining. If 20 years and hundreds of billions of dollars in support, equipment, and training did not suffice, why would another year, or five, or ten, make a difference?” Blinken advised lawmakers throughout a Congressional listening to on Afghanistan.Also Read | We inherited a deadline, not a plan: US Secretary of State Blinken defends Afghan withdrawalThe first of the sequence of Congressional hearings had been held by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Referring to the settlement signed by the earlier Trump administration with the Taliban final February, Blinken stated that in January 2021, the Taliban was in its strongest navy place since September 11 and the US had the smallest variety of troops on the bottom since 2001.As a consequence, upon taking workplace, President Biden instantly confronted the selection between ending the battle or escalating it.“Had he not followed through on his predecessor’s commitment, attacks on our forces and those of our allies would have resumed and the Taliban’s nationwide assault on Afghanistan’s major cities would have commenced,” he stated.That would have required sending considerably extra US forces into Afghanistan to defend ourselves and stop a Taliban takeover, taking casualties and with at finest the prospect of restoring a stalemate and remaining caught in Afghanistan, beneath fireplace, indefinitely, he stated.Blinken stated that there’s nothing that strategic rivals like China and Russia or adversaries like Iran and North Korea would have appreciated greater than for the United States to re-up a 20-year battle and stay slowed down in Afghanistan for one more decade.“In advance of the President’s decision, I was in constant contact with our Allies and partners to hear their views and factor them into our thinking. When the President announced the withdrawal, NATO immediately and unanimously embraced it. We all set to work together on the drawdown,” he stated.Also Read | Interim Taliban govt doesn’t mirror what worldwide neighborhood, we hoped to see: USBlinken stated that the US will proceed to assist Americans and Afghans to whom the US has a particular dedication depart Afghanistan in the event that they select, simply as they’ve executed in different nations the place they’ve evacuated the embassy and a whole lot and even hundreds of Americans remained behind for instance, in Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. There is not any deadline to this mission, he stated.The United States, he stated, is concentrated on counterterrorism. “The Taliban has committed to preventing terrorist groups from using Afghanistan as a base for external operations that could threaten the United States or our allies, including Al Qaeda and ISIS-K,” he stated.“We will hold them accountable for that. That does not mean we will rely on them. We will remain vigilant in monitoring threats, and we’ll maintain robust counterterrorism capabilities. in the region to neutralize those threats if necessary as we do in places around the world where we do not have military forces on the ground,” he stated.The US will proceed its intensive diplomacy with Allies and companions.“We initiated a statement joined by more than 100 countries and a United Nations Security Council Resolution setting out the international community’s expectations of a Taliban-led government,” he added.“We expect the Taliban to ensure freedom of travel; make good on its counter-terrorism commitments; uphold the basic rights of the Afghan people, including women, girls, and minorities; name a broadly representative permanent government, and forswear reprisals. The legitimacy and support it seeks from the international community will depend on its conduct,” Blinken stated.Also Read: Al-Qaeda could search comeback in Afghanistan after US exit, says Pentagon chief