Leaving a country in shambles, Biden failed to take any sort of responsibility on Tuesday night as he defended himself for ending what he called a “forever war”. He also praised the US airlift, calling it an “extraordinary success”, even though more than 100 Americans and thousands of Afghans have been left behind.
“I was not going to extend this forever war. And I was not going to extend a forever exit,” Biden said from the White House twenty-four hours after the last American C-17 cargo plane left Kabul.
“To those asking for a third decade of war in Afghanistan, I ask, ‘What is the vital national interest?’” Biden said. He added, “I simply do not believe that the safety and security of America is enhanced by continuing to deploy thousands of American troops and spending billions of dollars in Afghanistan.”
Trying to defend himself continuously, Biden met with severe criticism from Republicans who asserted that he had handled the whole situation poorly, especially since the Kabul airport blasts claimed numerous lives. To this, Biden said it was inevitable that the final departure from two decades of war, first negotiated with the Taliban for May 1 by former President Donald Trump, would have been difficult with likely violence, no matter when it was planned and conducted.
As far as the Americans left back were concerned, Biden added, “The bottom line: 90% of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave,” Biden said. “For those remaining Americans. There is no deadline. We remain committed to get them out, if they want to come out.”
In reaction, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Tuesday described the Biden administration’s handling of the evacuation as “probably the biggest failure in American government on a military stage in my lifetime” and promised that Republicans would press the White House for answers.