Joe Biden's Afghanistan statement is ‘gobsmacking’ says TV host
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Joe Biden, who is only seven months into his presidency, blamed the collapse on Afghan troops not willing to fight for their country as thousands attempted to flee after the Taliban took hold. The US President’s defiant defence of his handling of the withdrawal has been met with fierce criticism at home and abroad.
In a series of tweets, Mr Biden said: “We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals: get those who attacked us on September 11, 2001, and make sure al Qaeda could not use Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again.
“We did that, a decade ago. Our mission was never supposed to be nation-building.
“The events we are seeing now are sadly the proof that no amount of American military force would ever deliver a stable, united, secure Afghanistan.
“What is happening now could just as easily have happened five years ago — or fifteen years in the future.
“I know my decision on Afghanistan will be criticised. But I would rather take all that criticism than pass this responsibility on to yet another president.
“It’s the right one for our people, for the brave service members who risk their lives serving our nation, and for America.
“American troops cannot — and should not — be fighting and dying in a war that Afghan forces are by and large not willing to fight and die in themselves.”
The President’s approval rating dropped seven percentage points and hit its lowest level so far following the chaos in Kabul over the weekend.
A Reuters/Ipsos national opinion poll conducted on Monday found just 46 percent of American’s approved of Mr Biden’s performance in office – the lowest recorded since he was inaugurated in January.
His ratings dropped from 53 percent on Friday when Reuters ran the same poll.
A separate Ipsos snap poll, also conducted on Monday, found that fewer than half of Americans liked the way Mr Biden has steered the US military and diplomatic effort in Afghanistan this year.
The President was rated worse than the other three presidents who presided over the USA’s longest war.
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Opinions on what course of action should have been taken varied across the American public.
A majority of 18 to 65-year-olds in the survey agreed the war “was going to end badly, no matter when the US left” and 61 percent wanted the US to complete its withdrawal of troops on time.
But a smaller majority of 51 percent believed it would have been “worth it for US to leave troops in Afghanistan for another year.
A further 50 percent also wanted to send American troops back into the country to fight the Taliban.
Out of the respondents, 44 percent said they believed President Biden had done a “good job” in Afghanistan.
In comparison, 51 percent praised how Donald Trump and Barack Obama handled the intervention.
He even polled worse than George W Bush, who ordered the invasion almost 20 years ago.
The poll found 47 percent of Americans surveyed felt President Bush did a good job in Afghanistan.
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