President Joe Biden showed no signs of changing his plan to withdraw from Afghanistan on Tuesday, despite the Taliban taking control of multiple cities.
“They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation,” Biden said, taking a question from reporters on Afghanistan after making remarks at the White House on infrastructure.
In July, Biden set August 31 as the date U.S. forces would withdraw from Afghanistan.
“Do I trust the Taliban? No,” Biden said at the time. “But I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped and more competent in terms of conducting war.”The White House / YouTube
That optimism has changed. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Biden officials are preparing for Afghanistan’s capital to fall within 30-90 days.
Biden reminded critics of his withdrawal strategy that the United States had spent over a trillion dollars on the war and lost thousands of American troops.
“Afghan leaders have to come together,” he said, and added, “[T]hey’ve got to want to fight. They have outnumbered the Taliban.”
Biden indicated there was hope that Afghanistan’s new Secretary of Defense Bismillah Khan could bolster the fight, describing him as “a serious fighter.”
Biden did not mention the fact that extensive talks featuring both the legitimate Afghan government & the Taliban took place under President Trump in 2020, resulting in an agreement to withdraw all U.S. military servicemen from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. https://t.co/aJi5ZxBus9
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 29, 2021
He said he would keep commitments made to the Afghans to provide air support and help their military with equipment.
“I think they’re beginning to realize they’ve got to come together politically at the top and — but we’re going to continue to keep our commitment,” he said. “But I do not regret my decision.”