tv President Biden on Afghanistan Withdrawal CSPAN July 9, 2021 6:30am-7:00am EDT
their general feeling that tech companies are out to get them. >> watch the communicators saturday at 6:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. c-span shop.org is c-span's online store. there is a collection of c-span products of brows to see what's new and your purchase will support our nonprofit operations and you still have time to order the congressional directory with contact information from members of congress and the biden administration. good to c-span shop.org. >> president biden gave an update on u.s. troop withdrawing from afghanistan, from the white house, this is about half an hour.
when they announced the withdrawal in april, i said be out by september and we are on track to meet that target. military mission in afghanistan will conclude august 31 the drawdown after a secure and orderly way for the safety of our troops depart. military commanders advised me to make the decision to end the war, we need to move swiftly to conduct main elements of the straw that. context, speed is safety and thanks to the way in which we manage our withdrawal, no one u.s. forces or any forces have been lost. conducting our drawdown differently would certainly have come with an increased risk of safety to our personnel. to me, the risks were unacceptable. there was never any doubt military performed for task
efficiently and with the highest level of professionalism. that's what they do and the same is true of nato allies and partners we are supporting they are supporting us as well as they conclude their attribute. i want to be clear, they continue to the end of august, retain personnel and capacities in the country, we maintain some authority -- same authority under which we've been operating for some time. as i said in april, united states did we went to do afghanistan, get the terrorists who attacked us on nine elevenths and deliver justice to osama bin laden. the site threat afghanistan from becoming a base which facts could be continued against the united states. we achieved those objectives, that's why we went. we did not go to afghanistan nation fell in it right and
responsibly those people along to decide future and how they want to run their country. together with nato allies and partners, we have trained and equipped nearly 300,000 current serving members of the military and security force and many beyond fact no longer serving. add to that hundreds of thousands more afghan security forces trained over the last two decades providing afghan partners of all the tools. let me emphasize, all the tools training equipment of any modern military providing advanced weaponry, we are going to continue to provide funding and equipment to ensure they have the capacity to maintain their efforts but most critically, as i stressed in my meeting two weeks ago with president connie and chairman abdul, afghan leaders have to come together
and drive toward a future the afghan people want and deserve. in our meeting, i assured him less support for the people of afghanistan will endure, who will continue to provide the billing military assistance, including speaking out for the rights of women and girls. i intend to maintain medic presidents in afghanistan and we are coordinating closely with international partners to secure the airport and we are going to engage in diplomacy to pursue peace and peace agreement how and the senseless violence. i've asked our special representation to work vigorously to work with the parties in afghanistan as well as regional and international stakeholders to support a negotiated solution. to be clear, countries in the
region have a role to play in supporting a peaceful settlement. we will work with that and they should help step up their efforts as well. we are going to continue to work to release detained americans including mark -- excuse me. i want to pronounce the name correctly, i misspoke so he can return to his family safely. we are going to continue to make sure that we take onto the afghan nationals to work side-by-side with u.s. forces including interpreters and translators since we will no longer have military their activist, we are not going to need them and they have no jobs and we are going to be vital in these efforts, they have been very vital so that families are not exposed to danger as well. with dramatically accelerated the procedure time for special immigrant visas to bring them to the united states. since i was inaugurated january 20, we've already approved 2500
special visas to come to the united states. up to now, fewer than half have exercised their right to do that. have have gone on aircraft income on commercial flights and the other half believes they want to stay, at least thus far. working closely with congress to change the authorization legislation so we can streamline the process of approving the recess. those who have stood up for the operation to physically relocate, thousands of afghans and their families before the u.s. military mission includes so if they choose, they can wait safely outside of afghanistan while usbs has are being processed. the operation has identified less facilities outside in the u.s. as well as third countries to host our afghan allies if they so choose. starting this month, we're going to begin to relocation rights for afghanistan applicants and
their families choose leave. have a person in the white house and the state department led coordinating these efforts. this is clear, there is a home for you in the united states if you so choose if you stand, we stand with you as you stand with us. when i made this decision to end in afghanistan, not a national united states america, continue fighting this war indefinitely. i made the decision with clear eyes, i briefed daily on the battlefield updates but for those who argue we should stay six more months or just one more year, i asked him to consider the lessons of recent history. in 2011, nato allies and partners agreed that we would end our combat mission in 2014.
in 2014, some argued one more year so we kept fighting and cap taking casualties. in 2015, the same and on and on. nearly 20 years of experience has shown us that the current security situation only confirms that just one more year of fighting in afghanistan not a solution but a recipe for being there indefinitely. it's up to the afghans to make the decision about the future affect country. others are more direct, their argument is we should stay with afghan and afghanistan indefinitely. in doing so, they show that we have not taken classes this past year so they claim to maintain status quo is minimal but that ignores the reality. the facts the already present on the ground in afghanistan when i took office, the taliban was at the strongest militarily 2001.
a number of u.s. forces in afghanistan produced to bare minimum in the united states in the last ministration made an agreement with the taliban to remove all forces by may 1 of this year. that's what i inherited. that agreement was the reason the taliban major attacks against u.s. forces. if in april, i announced united states is going to go back on that agreement made with the last of ministration, the united states and allied forces remain in afghanistan for the foreseeable future taliban would have again begun to target our forces. the status quo was not an option. staying would have met u.s. troops taking casualties. american men and women back in the middle of a civil war and we would run the risk of having to send more troops back into afghanistan to defend our remaining troops. once the agreement had been
made, stained with the bare minimum force is no longer possible so let me ask those who want us to stay. how many thousands of more americans, daughters and sons are you willing to risk? how long would you have them stay? already we have members of our military parents fought in afghanistan 20 years ago. would you send their children and their grandchildren as well? what you sent your own son or daughter? after 20 years, $1 trillion spent training and equipping hundreds of thousands of afghan security and defense forces, 2440 americans killed, 20722100 and untold thousands coming home with unseen trauma to their mental health, i will not send another generation of americans
to work in afghanistan with no reasonable expectation to achieve a different outcome. united states cannot afford to remain tethered to policies created in response to a world as it was 20 years ago. we need to meet the threats where they are today. today the threat has been beyond afghanistan so we are repositioning resources and adopting counterterrorism posture to meet the threats where they are now. significantly higher in south asia and the middle east and africa but make no mistake, our military that tells our leaders are confident they have the capabilities to protect the homeland and our interest from any resurgent terrorist challenge emerging or emanating from afghanistan. we are developing a counterterrorism over the horizon capability will allow us to keep our eyes firmly fixed in
any direct threats to the u.s. for region and act quickly and decisively if needed. we also need to focus on showing up america's core strategies to meet the strategic competition with china and other nations that's really going to determine our future. we have to defeat covered at home and around the world, make sure we are better prepared for the next pandemic or biological threat. we need to establish international norms for cyberspace use of emergency -- emerging technologies. we need to take concerted action to buy existential threats of climate change and we will be more formidable to adversaries competitors over the long run if we fight the battles of the next 20 years, not the last 20 years. finally, i want to recognize the incredible sacrifice dedication the u.s. military civilian
personnel serving alongside allies and partners have made over the last two decades in afghanistan. i want to honor the significance in what they have accomplished and great personal risk they encounter, incredible cost to the families, pursuing the terrorist threat to some of the most unforgiving terrain on the planet, almost throughout the entire country ensuring there hasn't been another attack on the home and from afghanistan for the last 20 years, taking out bin laden, i want to thank you all for your service the dedication to the mission so many of you have given and the sacrifices you and your families have made over the long course of this war. we will never forget those who gave the last full measure of devotion for their country and
afghanistan, those whose lives have been immeasurably altered by wounds sustained in the service to their country. we are ending america's longest war but we will always, always honor the bravery of the american patriots who served it. god bless you all may god protect our troops. [applause] [inaudible] >> taliban take over. >> no, it is not because you have the afghan troops, 300,000 well-equipped, as well-equipped as any army in the world and air force against something like 75000 taliban, it not inevitable. >> do you trust the taliban?
>> is not a serious question? do you trust the taliban? i do not. no, i do not trust the taliban. >> ny -- [inaudible] >> we ask -- [inaudible] >> do i trust the taliban? no but i trust the capacity of the afghan military who's better trained, better equipped and more competent in terms of conducting war. [inaudible] >> given the amount of money that's been spent in the number of lives lost, in your view, what making this decision for the last 20 years worth it? >> no my record, i can tell by the way you asked the question. i opposed permanently having american forces in afghanistan.
i argued from the beginning, as you may recall, it became after the administration was over in our administration. no nation has ever unified afghanistan, no nation. empires have gone and not done it. the focus we had, and i strongly supported, you may remember we went to afghanistan, i was where osama bin laden was allegedly escaped or out of harm's way. we went for two reasons. one, to remove osama bin laden to the gates of hell as i said at the time. the second reason was to
eliminate al qaeda's capacity deal with more attacks in the united states from back territory. we accomplished both of those objectives. that's what i believe from the beginning why we should have gone afghanistan. that job had been over some time and that's why i believed this is the right decision and frankly, overdue. [inaudible] >> thank you very much, your own intelligence community said the afghan government will likely collapse. >> that's not true. >> can you clarify what they told you about whether that will happen or not? >> that's not true, they did not reach that conclusion. >> what is the level of confidence they have that it will not collapse?
>> the afghan government leadership has to come together. they clearly have the capacity to sustain the government in place. the question is, what they generate the cohesion to do it? is not the question whether they have the capacity, they have the capacity, they have the equipment, the question is, where they do it? want to make clear that we are not going to walk away thing to maintain that force. we are. we're going to make sure we help food necessities and everything in the region but -- there's not a conclusion that they cannot defeat the telegram. i believe the only way therapy -- this is not joe biden, the only way there is only going to be peace and security is a work
out with the taliban and make a judgment as to how they can make peace and the likeliness that there will be one unified government in afghanistan controlling the whole country is highly unlikely. >> we have talked to your general in afghanistan, general got miller, the conditions are so concerning at this time that it could result in a civil war so what will the united states do about that? >> you said two things. one, if it could result in a civil war, but everything the taliban succeeding, number one. number two, the question of what will be done is going to be, it's going to implicate the entire region. there's a number of countries of brain grave concern what's going to happen relative to their
security. the question is, how much of a threat to the united states of america and to our allies is whatever results in terms of a government, that's when that judgment will be made. >> some vietnamese veterans echo their experience in the withdrawal in afghanistan, you see any parallel with this withdrawal and what happened with some -- >> none whatsoever, zero. you have entire brigades breaking through the gates, six if i'm not mistaken. the taliban is not the north vietnamese army, they are not remotely comparable in terms of capability. there's going to be no caps a consent see people lifted off the roof of an embassy in the united states from afghanistan. it's not at all comparable.
[inaudible] >> how serious was the corruption along the afghanistan government there? >> first of all, the mission has not failed yet. there is, in afghanistan and all parties, there has been corruption. the question is, can there be an agreement on unity and purpose? what is the objective? for example, it started off there will be negotiations between the taliban and afghan security forces and afghan government. that didn't come to fruition so the question now is, where do they go from here the jury is still out. the likelihood there is going to be taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely. yes, ma'am.
>> will united states vulnerable -- [inaudible] >> now, it's up to the people of afghanistan to decide on what government they want, not to impose government on them. no countries will do that. keep in mind on history, never has afghanistan spent a united country, not in all of its history. not in all of its history. [inaudible] >> a mission accomplished moment, what is it? >> there is no mission accomplished. we got osama bin laden terror is not emanating from that part of the world. [inaudible] >> as you just said are you satisfied with the timeline of relocating afghan nationals, is it happening to your
satisfaction? >> much of it already happened, there are already thousands of people who have gotten on afghan aircraft, over 2500 people from january until now have gotten in only half decided they wanted to leave. i think the whole process has to be speeded up in terms of being able to get these. >> why can't the u.s. evacuate the afghan translators to the united states for processing immigrants at the southern border -- >> that's why we are asking the congress consider changing the law but in the meantime, we can guarantee their safety if they wish to leave by taking third countries and/or while the weight is taking place, come to and hopefully while they are
waiting for, to bring them back to the united states if that's what they choose to do. [inaudible] >> i'm not -- [inaudible] they are really concerned. >> they are very concerned for good reason. when i was in afghanistan, i've been there a number of times, i remember being in a school outside and by the way, the schools and afghanistan are not unlike schools on the west coast where they have an area in the middle that looks like a playground and single-story buildings connected around it. i remember saying, speaking to a group of young women, i guess they were roughly, they look like they were 14, 15 years old and they are in school and there is a tiered classroom with
single light bulbs hanging from the ceiling as i know you know and i said, the united states came here to make sure that we got osama bin laden the terrace didn't go after our country and we are what you have to leave the young woman said you can't leave, it was heartbreaking. you can't leave, she said. i want to be a doctor, i want to be a doctor. if you leave, i'll never be able to be a doctor. well, that's why we spent so much time money with afghan security forces to do the work of defending them. anyway, yes, i am aware. one more question. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> mr. president, i wanted to ask with the benefit of
hindsight, you spoke to the fact that the taliban are at the militarily strongest time you've seen in 20 years, how do you feel personally about that in hindsight and all the dollars and investments and american troops sent there? >> relative to the training and capacity of the federal police, it's not even close in terms of capacity. i was saying that here we were, the argument is no one was dying, we could stay, no americans are being shot so i leave? once the agreement was made by the last administration who would leave by may 1, it was very clear taliban that had always been a problem was even a more sophisticated problem and they work than before, if not more sophisticated than at the beginning more than they were, it would have increased the
prospect that they would have been able to take more lives of americans if they decided they were going to go after them, that's what i was saying. thank you all so very much. >> on the withdrawal -- >> what you make of the taliban going to russia today? [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more including media,. >> the world changed in an instant and media, never slowed down. schools and businesses and first and we powered a new reality. mediacom, we are built to keep
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