While another poll shows that the majority of the US population does not like how the United States has withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan, Joe Biden is taking responsibility for his decision to leave the country where he says fighting the war is not worth the lives of his countrymen.
The events of the last few weeks in Afghanistan are affecting Americans’ opinion of Joe Biden. According to the figures of a poll published on August 22 by CBS, the number of those who approve of his actions is decreasing. 49% of the people questioned believe him to be competent, whereas this figure was 56% in April. 55% considered his actions to be effective, while 47% maintained that they were.
On the same day, a reporter asked the President at the White House about these figures and in particular about the fact that, according to the same poll, 53% of Americans disapprove of the way he withdrew the troops from that country and this while 63% were still in favor of the decision to leave Afghanistan.
Responding to this question, the President recalled that the war in Afghanistan had cost the United States 2,448 deaths and 20,722 injuries. In addition, maintaining a military presence there costs between $150 and $300 million per day.
“Look, this is the job. My job is to make judgments. My job is to make judgments that nobody else can or will make. And I have made them. I am convinced that I am absolutely right in not deciding to send more young women and men into this war that, in fact, is no longer justified,” he said.
He insisted that the US entered Afghanistan only because that was where bin Laden planned the 9/11 attacks and that if he had been in any other place, Washington would never have sent its troops there.
“The bottom line is this, gentlemen: if we don’t leave Afghanistan now, when will we leave? Another 10 years? Another five years? Another year? I’m not sending your son or daughter to fight in Afghanistan. I don’t see how that’s in our best interest,” he replied.
Has al-Qaeda disappeared from Afghanistan?
However, the American authorities are not consistent in their statements. While on August 20, Joe Biden told the White House that al-Qaeda had disappeared from Afghanistan and that Washington no longer had any reason to keep its troops there, Secretary of State Antony Blinken made it clear on August 22 on Fox News that members of this terrorist organization were still present and that the President was referring to the diminished capacity of the terrorists to carry out attacks similar to those of September 11.
Indeed, a UN report dated May 20, 2021, noted the presence of Al Qaeda in 15 Afghan provinces. On August 15, US Chief of Staff General Mark Milley also stated that the return of the Taliban to power would lead to a resurgence of al-Qaeda.