Biden calls on Afghans to 'decide their future' as withdrawal nears end
US President Joe Biden met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his former political foe, Abdullah Abdullah, on Friday at the White House where he called on Afghans to decide the future of their country as the last US troops pack up after 20 years of war and government forces struggle to repel Taliban advances.
Biden, seated beside Ghani and Abdullah in the Oval Office, called them "two old friends" and said US support for Afghanistan was not ending but would be sustained despite the US pullout.
"Afghans are going to have to decide their future, what they want," said Biden, saying the "senseless violence has to stop."
Ghani said Afghan security forces had retaken six districts on Friday. He said he respected Biden's decision and that the partnership between the United States and Afghanistan is entering a new phase.
"We are determined to have unity, coherence," he said.
Speaking with reporters after the meeting, Ghani said the United States' decision to withdraw troops was a sovereign one and it was Kabul's job to "manage consequences."
He added that Biden had clearly articulated that the US embassy would continue to operate and security aid would continue and in some cases move on an accelerated schedule.
Abdullah said in a Reuters interview after the Biden meeting that stalled intra-Afghan talks on a political settlement to decades of strife should not be abandoned unless the insurgents themselves pull out.
"I think we shouldn’t shut the door unless it’s completely shut by the Taliban," Abdullah said. "We can’t say no to talks despite a lack of progress or in spite of what’s happening on the ground."
The Oval Office meeting could be as valuable to Ghani for its symbolism as for any new US help because it will be seen as affirming Biden's support for the beleaguered Afghan leader as he confronts Taliban gains, bombings and assassinations, a surge in Covid-19 cases and political infighting in Kabul.
"At a time when morale is incredibly shaky and things are going downhill, anything one can do to help shore up morale and shore up the government is worth doing," said Ronald Neumann, a former US ambassador to Kabul. "Inviting Ghani here is a pretty strong sign that we're backing him."
Biden's embrace, however, comes only months after US officials were pressuring Ghani to step aside for a transitional government under a draft political accord that they floated in a failed gambit to break a stalemate in peace talks.
Biden has asked Congress to approve US$3.3 billion in security assistance for Afghanistan next year and is sending 3 million doses of vaccines there to help it battle Covid-19.
US officials have been clear that Biden will not halt the American pullout – likely to be completed in the coming weeks -and he is unlikely to approve any US military support to Kabul to halt the Taliban's advances beyond advice, intelligence, and aircraft maintenance.
Earlier, the Afghan leaders met for a second day on Capitol Hill, where Biden's withdrawal decision met objections from many members of both parties.
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, welcoming Ghani to a bipartisan leadership meeting, said she looked forward to hearing about what more can be done with US humanitarian aid, especially for women and girls.
Many lawmakers and experts have expressed deep concerns that the Taliban - if returned to power - will reverse progress made on the rights of women and girls, who were harshly repressed and barred from education and work during the insurgents' 1996-2001 rule.
Taliban to regain power?
The Ghani-Abdullah visit comes with the peace process stalled and violence raging as Afghan security forces fight to stem a Taliban spring offensive that threatens several provincial capitals and has triggered mobilisations of ethnic militias to reinforce government troops.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking during a visit on Friday to Paris, said Washington is "looking very hard" at whether the Taliban are "serious about a peaceful resolution to the conflict."
The crisis has fueled grave concerns that the Taliban could regain power - two decades after the US-led invasion ended their harsh version of Islamist rule – allowing a resurgence of al Qaeda. US and UN officials say the extremists maintain close links with the Taliban.
US officials respond that the United States will be able to detect and thwart any new threats by al Qaeda or other Islamists. The Taliban insist al Qaeda is no longer in Afghanistan.
US government sources familiar with US intelligence reporting describe the situation as dire. Ghani, they said, has been urged to do more to step up pressure on the insurgents while US-led coalition forces are still there.
As to be expected, when the going gets tough, the so-called tough (US) gets going ... away, as it did in Vietnam, Iraq, etc.
One problem the US has is its short attention span - it must win and win big a.s.a.p or its public will get bored or worse, annoyed.
Another is its inability to understand the locals, always wanting them (the locals) to fit into US culture, values and expectations.
The only exceptions to the unending but utterly eff-ed up US military involvement, interference and intrusions into foreign countries are nations with historically proud, resilient and superior cultures that ignore the US aggressive and bullying interference and attempt at control, and could look beyond the pathetic US myopic strategies at their own sovereign futures, eg. Japan and South Korea.
The USA ultimately has no interest to be a colonial power, unlike the remaining major Land Empires, Russia and China.ReplyDelete
If things don't go well, or they are clearly not welcome, the Americans walk away, as they should.
what balls-carrying bullshit. Review the last moments of the US in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) as the Yanks scooted away like rats on the last US Army Huey copter, with their Marine guards kicking off unwanted Viet supporters from the chopperDelete
You have a pathological hatred of everything to do with USA, no doubt with delicious doses of Red Zombie indoctrination.Delete
Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are excellent examples of countries have achieved tremendous material and human development progress under the American security umbrella..... and most of Western Europe as well, they would have become Soviet Union satellite states if the Yanks had just walked away after WWWII.
Typical example of your pathological hatred of all things Americans is the last 3 posts where you managed to turn a praiseworthy large donation of Covid-19 vaccines by Japan to various Asian countries into repeated anti-Japanese and anti-American screech, like a diseased rabid dog.Delete
Typically Yankee doodles kisser's fart!Delete
How about a hot rotten potato that is too hot to hold while can't be eaten?
Get yr uncle Sam to walk away from Japan, SKorea & set them free from been the guarding vassal doggie lah.
Mmm… maybe should start with Okinawa, where the Yanks r clearly not welcome!
"a praiseworthy large donation of Covid-19 vaccines by Japan to various Asian countries"
How about using these countries to gain goodwill while avoiding inflicting untold medical disasters on his citizen?
Besides, these AZ vaccines r soon to be expired!
Oooop… BTW, have been read about the growing medical concern with rare heart inflammation conditions for those who have completed the two doses jabs!
The evil of untested science is catching up fast!
Book yr place, quick.
1. Malaysia has distributed 995,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccines with Zero reports of adverse outcomes.Delete
Nobody fell dead in the streets, as CCP-inspired anti-vaxxers were insinuating Western Vaccines would cause.
The voluntary Opt-In AstraZeneca Vaccine scheme was overwhelmingly oversubscribed.
So Plueeezz don't play the dangerous and execrable CCP anti-vaxxer game badmouthing non-CCP vaccines here.
2. It is a perfectly acceptable charitable act, especially in emergency situations, to donate medicines , foods etc. , that may be approaching end of shelf life, but are still completely usable and in good condition.
Any country with a proper functioning medical system can easily vaccinate 1 Million doses within the vaccine shelf life.
1) CCP-inspired anti vaxxers?Delete
Wakakakakaka… what a f*cked twist of fact!
2)!!! Perfectly charitable?
Many countries, especially those Western European outfits, have rejected the AZ vaccine inoculation outright. Thus, most of them have soon-to-be-expired AZ vaccine stock to be donated to COVAX.
US has hoarded a large stock of AZ vaccine even though uncle Sam has not approved its usage under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) until now!
Why ordered & hoarded the AZ vaccine earlier & now donate them now while these countries r still have not achieved the threshold rate of herd community?
Something they know & yet not telling?
Perhaps the high death toll amongst the elderlies, inoculated with the Jap donated AZ vaccine proved something?
usa shd erect a afghan camp xinjiang style.ReplyDelete
Mmm… trump tried with that Mexico wall & failed!Delete
Maybe there will never any Xinjiang camp for yr uncle Sam to copy. He has Guantanamo bay camp but still failed miserably!
its a proven fact maxicans love democratic usa, even a wall cant stop them, using tunnel instead to crawl to the freeland, like those ccp watchdog, reds n rich.Delete
These Mexicans love greenback that demoNcratic US has been used to dominate the world economy via seigniorage.Delete
Same same as most of those Formosa dickheads paying yearly pilgrimage to yankeeland to renew their drmoNcratic faith!
Same same as u too!
Again Uncle Sam ran away with tail between its legs, accomplishing nothing...the Graveyard of Empires that is Afghanistan had cost the US 2000+ soldiers and burned up 1 trillion dollars in this futile war. It first went gung-ho into this graveyard hollering that it will put the Taliban out of power, and as expected, after 2 decades in an orgy of killings, it limps out whimpering, telling Kabul to solve its own problems and decide on its own future. Fuck you, AmeriKKKa.ReplyDelete