The American withdrawal will therefore have a little head start. While the original schedule was for September 11, Joe Biden said Thursday that the departure of US troops from Afghanistan would be “completed on August 31”. After 20 years – the longest war in American history – the Democrat stressed that the Americans had “achieved their objectives” in the country, namely to fight against the terrorist threat.
“It’s not inevitable,” he said in response to a question about a possible victory for the Taliban, who are stepping up military offensives in the country. Joe Biden also assured that the Afghan authorities had “the capacity” to ensure the continuity of the government.
To journalists who asked him if his own intelligence services had foreseen the collapse of the Afghan government, Joe Biden replied categorically: “This is not true”. “The probability that there will be a united government in Afghanistan controlling the whole country is highly improbable,” he said, however.
No “nation building”
Joe Biden promised that American support for the Afghan people would “last” despite the troop withdrawal, which has already been 90% completed. The United States did not intervene in Afghanistan twenty years ago “to build a nation,” he said, saying that it was the “responsibility” of the Afghans themselves.
“I will not send another generation of Americans to fight in Afghanistan,” he said. “We are ending America’s longest war, but we will forever honor the courage of those who served there.” The president also spoke directly to the interpreters of the American army, who risk reprisals for having helped the foreign forces: “There is a place for you” in the United States, he promised them.
Some 18,000 Afghans, interpreters, drivers or contractors, are waiting to see if they can settle in the United States. Processing of these files can usually take years.
Fighting between the Taliban and Afghan forces raged Thursday for the second day in a row in northwestern Afghanistan, where the Taliban are waging their first offensive against a provincial capital since the start of the latest phase of the US troop withdrawal.