Time.news – After a thousand billion dollars spent to train local forces and more than two thousand deaths among American soldiers, the US mission in Afghanistan will close on August 31, after twenty years. But in the end “it was worth it” because the two main objectives “were achieved”: “Send Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell” and “neutralize Al Qaeda”.
What staged in the East Room of the White House was President Joe Biden’s passionate defense of the decision to withdraw Americans from one of the world’s hot fronts, while news of the Taliban’s rapid advance comes daily from Kabul. Biden wanted to remove the comparison with Vietnam, arguing that they are two different stories: “They are not comparable, we will not have Americans on the roof of the embassy picked up by helicopters”.
But many Vietnam veterans fear Kabul will fall, as happened in Saigon immediately after the withdrawal of the United States. “We did not go to Afghanistan to build the country – Biden pointed out – it is the right and responsibility of the Afghan people to decide their future and how they want to be governed. No nation – he added – has ever unified Afghans, none. There have been empires. and they didn’t. “
The reference is to the British occupation in the 19th century and the Soviet attempt to control the country forty years ago. Both attempts have failed, Biden seemed to say, but the United States should be added to the list of those who failed. The same presidential spokesman, Jen Psaki, had admitted shortly before that there will be no climate of victory coinciding with the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“There will not be – he admitted – a moment in which we will say ‘mission accomplished’. But we are proud of the men and women who have served there over the years”. Biden was more direct: “After twenty years, a trillion dollars spent training and equipping hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces, 2,448 Americans killed, 20,722 wounded, I will not send another generation of Americans to war. Afghanistan “.
Ma the head of the White House does not consider “inevitable” the hypothesis that the Taliban can regain power. “No, I don’t think so,” he replied curtly to a question. The president believes that the Afghan soldiers are now well prepared to resist the advance of the fundamentalist guerrillas. At the end of the conference, in the jumble of questions shouted by waiting reporters, one caught the president’s attention: “Do you trust the Taliban?”. “Is it a serious question or a statement? – Biden replied, annoyed – it’s a stupid question. Do I trust the Taliban? No, but I believe in the capability of the Afghan military forces”.