President Joe Biden on Monday defended his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, as he drew attention to the fall of the Central Asian country’s government.
“In fact, developments over the past week have reinforced that ending US military involvement in Afghanistan was now the right decision,” Biden said in a White House speech.
He noted that Afghan political leaders “fleed the country” and the army collapsed, “sometimes without trying to fight”.
“American troops cannot and should not fight a war and die in a war that Afghan forces are unwilling to fight for themselves,” the president said.
The Taliban swept through Kabul and wreaked havoc at the capital’s airport, sparking a breathtaking end to a two-decade campaign in which the United States and its allies responded to the terrorist attacks of September 11 and attempted to transform Afghanistan.
In his Monday speech, Biden argued that more involvement in the country wouldn’t have helped much — and took some responsibility for the situation.
‘I will not mislead the American people by saying that a little more time in Afghanistan will make all the difference, nor will I back down from my share of responsibility for where we are today’ today and how we need to move forward from here,” he said. noted. “I am President of the United States of America and the responsibility lies with me.”
The turn of events triggered comparisons with the American withdrawal from Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. It comes just days after Biden celebrated progress on his encourage domestic spending on traditional infrastructure
— plus “human infrastructure” and other Democratic priorities.
“The political clout of the Biden administration will be diminished somewhat for a while – not completely, and not permanently, but exactly when it was needed most in September and October to push moderate Democrats to support the big expansion of the social safety net by Biden while simultaneously making giant investments to develop the clean energy ICLN,
economy,” James Lucier, managing director of Capital Alpha Partners, said in a note on Monday.
Biden’s approval rating fell to a new low of 50%, while disapproval of the president’s performance hit a new high of 46%, according to a RealClearPolitics poll average starting Monday. The White House has also been grappling with rise in inflation and new COVID-19 issues due to the delta variant.
Republicans and some Democrats have expressed dismay at the Biden team’s handling of the US exit from Afghanistan, which comes after the The Trump administration has reached an agreement with the Taliban last year on a complete withdrawal of American troops.
“America’s involvement in Afghanistan over two decades has had many authors. So the strategic missteps were made along the way,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican, said in a statement on Sunday. “But as the monumental collapse that our own experts have predicted unfolds in Kabul today, the responsibility rests entirely on the shoulders of our current Commander-in-Chief.”
closed mostly higher on Monday, shaking early losses that were blamed in part on weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data and the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
“Military/terrorist shocks have historically had more headline impact than earnings, as the effects have generally dissipated fairly quickly once investors have concluded they will not lead to a global recession,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA, in a note Monday. .