President Joe Biden’s decision earlier this year to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan was met with mixed reviews.
Since then, experts have raised serious concerns that those in Afghanistan who helped the U.S. during its time there will be killed by the Taliban. In fact, for many it will be too late.
A reporter at the White House press briefing pointed out that the Taliban has already taken multiple cities and that Afghan forces cannot hold the Taliban back.
Biden’s response sparked headlines. Here it is:
No. Look, we spent over a trillion dollars over 20 years. We trained and equipped with modern equipment over 300,000 Afghan forces. And Afghan leaders have to come together. We lost thousands — lost to death and injury — thousands of American personnel. They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation.
The United States — I’ll insist we continue to keep the commitments we made of providing close air support, making sure that their air force functions and is operable, re- — resupplying their forces with food and equipment, and paying all their salaries. But they’ve got to want to fight. They have outnumbered the Taliban.
And I’m getting daily briefings. I think there’s still a possibility — you have a significant new Secretary of Defense — our equivalent of a Secretary of Defense in Afghanistan, Bismillah Khan, who is a serious fighter.
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. But I do not regret my decision.