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Biden says Afghans must 'fight for themselves as Taliban advances, does not regret U.S. withdrawal

Biden says Afghans must fight for themselves as Taliban advances

August 12, 2021: -On Tuesday, President Joe Biden said that he does not regret his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan, which effectively ends the longest war of America.

“Look, we spent over a trillion dollars above twenty years, we trained and equipped with modern equipment above 300,000 Afghan forces,” Biden told reporters at the White House.

“Afghan leaders have to come together,” Biden says. “They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation,” he added.

In April, Biden orders the complete withdrawal of approximately 3,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11.

The massive task from the Pentagon of removing servicemembers and equipment out of Afghanistan is almost complete, with the U.S. military mission expected to end by August 31.

As the U.S. withdrawals from Afghanistan, the Taliban has made stunning battlefield advances even after being outnumbered by the Afghan military. In the weekend, the Taliban swiftly seized five Afghan provincial capitals, taking three in one day alone.

On Monday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that while the Biden administration plans to keep providing air support, there was nothing much the U.S. military could do.

“We will certainly support from the air, where and when feasible, but that’s no substitute for leadership on the ground, it’s no substitute for political leadership in Kabul, it’s no substitute for using the capabilities and capacity that we know they have,” Kirby said.

Kirby further said that while the Pentagon is worried to see the advances by the Taliban, the Afghan military must leverage the years of training from U.S. and NATO coalition forces.

“They have an Air Force, and the Taliban doesn’t. They have modern weaponry and organizational skills, and the Taliban doesn’t. They have superior numbers to the Taliban,” Kirby added.

As the security situation in Afghanistan worsens, the State Department is looking at ways to downsize the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

“It is a challenging security environment, and were we able, were we confident and were we comfortable having a larger staffing presence there, we would,” a spokesperson of State Department Ned Price told reporters on Tuesday when asked about the reduction in staff in Kabul.

“We are evaluating the threat environment daily. The Embassy is in regular contact with Washington with the senior people in this building, who in turn are in regular contact with our colleagues in the White House,” Price added.

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