President Joe Biden has defended his administration’s withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.
Biden said he would not pass on the problem to a fifth American president.
Faced with criticisms over his action, Biden said, “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”
In a 20-minute nationally televised speech on Monday afternoon from the White House East Room, Biden said the US mission in Afghanistan “was never supposed to be nation-building. It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralised democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what has always been, preventing a terrorist attack on (the) American homeland.”
According to an agency report, the president added that “our true strategic competitors, China and Russia, would love nothing more than the United States to continue to funnel billions of dollars into Afghanistan indefinitely.”
Biden said fleeing Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, ignored his advice on how to prepare for the civil war, including tackling corruption and uniting politically.