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Halfway through President Joe Biden’s speech announcing the end of the US military mission in Afghanistan, he appeared to sketch out a unitary “Biden Doctrine” for US foreign policy as America ends its longest war.

“First, we need to define missions with clear and achievable goals, not ones we will never achieve,” he said. “We must remain clearly focused on the fundamental national security interests of the United States of America.”

Throughout Mr. Biden’s speech, in which he described the failures of the Afghan government before it fell into the hands of the Taliban and the shortcomings of his predecessor Donald Trump, the president has continually emphasized why long military engagements a term like that of Afghanistan was not in the interests of the United States.

“This Afghanistan decision is not just about Afghanistan,” Biden said. “It is about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries. We saw a counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, making the terrorists and stopping the attacks turn into counterinsurgency, nation building, trying to create a cohesive and united Afghanistan, something that has never been done in many centuries of Afghan history. . “

Biden defends end to “eternal war” in Afghanistan

The move was clearly a blow to many who had decried Mr. Biden’s decision, such as former General David Petraeus, one of the counterinsurgency’s biggest supporters who has become one of the most critical critics. Mr. Biden’s most vocal on the exit from Afghanistan.

“This is the end of an era of trying to remake other nations. Breaking out of that mindset will make us stronger, more effective and more secure at home,” Mr. Biden said. President added that he would not hesitate to face terrorist threats against the United States, echoing his words last week after 13 servicemen were killed in a suicide bombing attack in Kabul.

“To those who wish America harm, to those who engage in terrorism against us or our allies, please know,” he said. “The United States will never rest. We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down to the ends of the earth and you will pay the ultimate price.

Likewise, Biden did not say the United States was pulling out of the terrorist threat, noting that the country was engaged in “serious competition” with China and multiple challenges with Russia.

In this image taken using a night vision scope and provided by United States Central Command, Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army, XVIII Airborne Corps, climbs aboard a C-17 cargo plane at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, August 30, 2021, as the last member of the U.S. service to leave Afghanistan. (US Central Command via AP)


At the same time, it’s not clear that most Americans have a problem with these particular aspects of Mr. Biden’s approach to Afghanistan. A new investigation from the Pew Research Center published on Tuesday found that 54% of American adults think the decision to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan was the right one, and 69% said the United States mostly failed to meet their targets in Afghanistan , showing fatigue among Americans. audience for nation-building projects like the one he described in Afghanistan.

But the problem seems to be more in the way the United States came out. Only 29% of American adults said Mr. Biden did a great or a good job, but 42% said he did a bad job. Only 43% of Democrats thought Mr. Biden had done a great or good job leaving Afghanistan and only 7% of Independents and Republicans said the same.

Mr. Biden also said his administration would continue to speak out on the human rights of women and girls “as we stand up for women and girls around the world,” he said.

“I have been clear that human rights will be at the center of our foreign policy,” he said. “But the way to achieve this is not through endless military deployments, but through diplomacy, economic tools and mobilizing the rest of the world for support.”

The president, as is often the case, invoked his late son Beau, who served in Iraq before dying of brain cancer, discussing costs beyond mere losses on the battlefield. He noted the costs of traumatic brain injuries and other types of injuries, adding that an average of 18 veterans die by suicide per day.

“There is nothing low end, cheap or low risk in a war,” he said.

The Independent Gt

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