Biden Poses Question to Critics of Afghan Strategy

'How many more thousands of American daughters and sons are you willing to risk?'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 8, 2021 1:55 PM CDT
Biden: Prolonging Afghan War Makes No Sense
President Biden speaks about the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in the East Room of the White House Thursday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Biden on Thursday said the US military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on Aug. 31, adding that “speed is safety” as the United States seeks to end the nearly 20-year war, per the AP. “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation build,” Biden said in a speech to update his administration’s ongoing efforts to wind down the US war in Afghanistan. “Afghan leaders have to come together and drive toward a future.” Biden also amplified the justification of his decision to end US military operations even as the Taliban make rapid advances in significant swaths of the country. “How many more, how many more thousands of American daughters and sons are you willing to risk?” Biden said to those calling for the US to extend the military operation.

“I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan, with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome." Biden said he didn't trust the Taliban but trusted the capacity of the Afghan military to defend the government. The effort to further explain his thinking on Afghanistan comes as the administration in recent days has repeatedly sought to frame ending the conflict as a decision that Biden made after concluding it’s an “unwinnable war” and one that “does not have a military solution.” Before his speech, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden administration officials always anticipated an “uptick” in violence and greater turmoil as the US withdrawal moved forward. She added that prolonging military involvement would have led to an escalation of attacks on American troops.

(More Afghanistan exit strategy stories.)

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