Late August marked the official end of a 20 year war in Afghanistan. As our nation and our military move forward, what will we focus on next? The following is a brief recap of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the Biden Administration’s response.
White House Response
Understandably, there are a number of people who question whether this withdrawal was the right decision. Especially because America is leaving Afghanistan under Taliban rule. When met with some resistance about the decision to withdraw troops, the White House released a statement saying, “Just yesterday, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution that sent a clear message about what the international community expects the Taliban to deliver on moving forward, notably freedom of travel, freedom to leave. And together, we are joined by over 100 countries that are determined to make sure the Taliban upholds those commitments. It will include ongoing efforts in Afghanistan to reopen the airport, as well as overland routes, allowing for continued departure to those who want to leave and delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.” If you’re interested in reading the press release in its entirety, you can find it here.
The New Era
Biden has expressed the importance of entering into a new era in terms of the use of American power. He expressed his desire to go a different route than the previous three presidents. Biden stated his belief that reshaping nations is not the best use of America’s military. Instead, the Biden Administration is going to avoid ground wars with large troop deployments. They believe we should focus more on developing strategies that are guided by economic and cybersecurity competition with China and Russia. Additionally, the President believes it’s more worthwhile to focus on countering threats with military technology. These efforts would allow for strikes against terrorists without having to place a large number of troops on the ground in places like Afghanistan.
Now that all the American troops have left, The Biden Administration is left to figure out how our nation is going to work with the Taliban. Afghanistan is on the brink of both economic and humanitarian crises. Additionally, ISIS is a threat shared by both the United States and the Taliban. There are some countries who don’t believe the Taliban shouldn’t be acknowledged as the ruling party; however, if not them, who will run the country? What’s the alternative?
What future ramifications might this withdrawal yield? It’s difficult to say. However, President Biden expressed his firm belief that the removal of troops from Afghanistan was the correct and moral choice. We have strayed from the original purpose of the war and the current Administration doesn’t believe we should continue spending large amounts of money and putting American lives in jeopardy by remaining in Afghanistan.
After 20 years of attempting to reshape another nation, time will tell how it fares now that American troops have withdrawn.