President Joe Biden repeatedly dismissed the idea of “nation-building” in Afghanistan during his Monday speech, blaming former President Donald Trump, the Afghan military, and the Afghan people for the country’s dismal withdrawal.
Biden’s remarks contrasted sharply with those expressed by none other than Joe Biden himself in 2003.
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“Nation-building is still a filthy word in some areas of the administration, but the alternative to nation-building is chaos,” Biden stated in February 2003 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, arguing IN FAVOR of continuing in Afghanistan.
“The facts show that we still have a lot of work to do in Afghanistan, and we have a continuing commitment to the guys in front of us to enable them to do the work that needs to be done,” Biden concluded.
“That’s what occurred during the Taliban, and I feel it will happen again if we aren’t careful,” he remarked at the time.
In 2021, Biden will sing a different tune. Biden argued during his Monday speech that being in Afghanistan was never about nation-building. Is he serious about forgetting what he said in 2003?
During his remarks, Biden stated, “The United States objective was never designed to be nation building.”
Take a look at what Nikkei Asia has to say:
America’s mission in Afghanistan was never about nation-building, and its only national interest there was to prevent a terrorist attack on the homeland, U.S. President Joe Biden said Monday in televised remarks.
Under immense political pressure from both Republicans and fellow Democrats, the president cut short his stay at Camp David and returned to the White House. The remarks, which were not initially on his public schedule Monday morning, sought to defend his April decision to withdraw that has since resulted in a Taliban takeover.
While he admitted that the situation “did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated,” the president stressed that this was the right decision for the U.S. “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves,” he said.
Biden also said the nature of warfighting is changing. Noting that the terrorist threat today has expanded well beyond Afghanistan, he said the U.S. is running counterterrorism missions in multiple countries where there is no permanent American military presence.
“We’ve developed counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability that will allow us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the direct threats to the United States in the region and act quickly and decisively if needed,” he said.