US President Joe Biden has defended his decision to pull US forces out of Afghanistan, which allowed Taliban terrorists to retake power.
Mr Biden said in a speech to the country a day after the conclusion of a 20-year US engagement in Afghanistan that staying longer was not an option.
He applauded soldiers for organizing an airlift of almost 120,000 individuals fleeing the Taliban government.
Islamist terrorists have been celebrating what they consider to be a triumph.
In the aftermath of the catastrophic 9/11 attacks, US-led soldiers invaded Afghanistan in 2001, overthrowing the Taliban and blaming al-Qaeda, a violent Islamist organisation operating in the Asian country at the time.
Mr. Biden has been severely chastised – both at home and among his allies – for the hasty way in which the US withdrew, resulting in the sudden collapse of Afghan security forces that US troops had trained and financed for years.
Taliban insurgents were able to retake control of the whole nation in just 11 days, with the capital, Kabul, falling to them on August 15.
Nearly 6,000 troops were dispatched by President Biden to assume control of the airport and coordinate the evacuation of US and ally foreign citizens as well as Afghans who had been working for them.
Hundreds of thousands of Afghans flocked to Kabul International Airport in the hopes of catching one of the evacuation planes.
Mr Biden commended soldiers for the large evacuation and pledged to continue efforts to pull out the remaining Americans in Afghanistan who wished to home – approximately 200 people in all – in his address on Tuesday.
However, the US president justified his decision to withdraw.
“I was not going to continue this endless war, and I was not going to extend this endless exit,” Mr Biden said, adding, “The war in Afghanistan is now ended.”
He said that the US did not require ground forces to protect itself.
A Deeper Analysis
Joe Biden attempted to “turn the page” on a month of turmoil and murder in Afghanistan, as well as 20 years of ultimately unsuccessful US occupation and nation-building efforts in general.
He became defensive at times, stating that Americans had been told 19 times to leave Afghanistan prior to the August troop departure. He accused Afghan authorities of “corruption and wrongdoing,” accusing them of being US supporters. He also chastised the Trump administration for what he called an insufficient pullout deal with the Taliban.
He claimed that the United States had no critical interest in Afghanistan, and he attempted to redefine US foreign policy to rely less on military deployments and more on diplomacy and international collaboration in dealing with rivals such as China and Russia.
Americans continue to favor the US departure from Afghanistan, according to surveys, while many are dissatisfied with Biden’s handling of the process. Officials from the White House said they hope that as time passes, the country will be appreciative for what the president has done and forget about the specifics of how it ended.