During his speech on Monday, President Joe Biden continuously shot down the idea of “nation-building” in Afghanistan as he blamed former President Donald Trump, the Afghan military and the Afghan people for his disastrous withdraw in the region.
The comments from Biden were a complete 180 from comments made by none other than Joe Biden himself in 2003.
“In some parts in the administration, nation-building is still a dirty phrase but the alternative to nation-building is chaos,” Biden said at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in February of 2003 as he argued IN FAVOR of staying in Afghanistan.
“The facts make one thing very clear, we have a great deal of work left to do in Afghanistan and a continued obligation to the men sitting in front of us to allow them to be able to do the work that needs to be done,” Biden added.
“That’s what happened under the Taliban and I believe if we’re not careful it’s going to happen again,” he said at the time.
2021 Biden has a much different tune. During his speech on Monday, Biden claimed that being in Afghanistan was never about nation building. Did he really forget what he said in 2003?
“U.S. mission was never supposed to be nation building,” said Biden during his speech.
Check out what Nikkei Asia reported:
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.
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