US Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended President Joe Biden’s decision to fully withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, saying that the US has achieved the goals with which it entered the war 20 years ago.
In an interview with ABC on Sunday, Blinken recalled that he had just returned from Kabul, where he had met with President Ashraf Ghani and other Afghan leaders.
“Everywhere I heard support for the president’s decision,” he said.
Blinken noted that Biden’s decision was the result of extensive reflection.
“We went to Afghanistan 20 years ago because we were attacked on September 11 to pursue those who attacked us and to ensure that Afghanistan does not once again become a haven for terrorism directed against the United States or our allies and partners,” the head of American diplomacy said.
“We have achieved our goal,” he stressed.
Blinken said Al-Qaeda was significantly weakened and could not launch attacks against the US from Afghanistan. Its leader, Osama bin Laden, was held responsible for his actions a decade ago.
According to the Secretary of State, President Biden decided that the United States should look at the world “through the prism of 2021, not 2001.”
“The threat of terrorism has moved to other places, and we have other very important issues on the agenda, including relations with China, a variety of issues from climate change to COVID, and this is where we need to focus our energy and resources,” he said.
At the same time, the Secretary of State noted that the United States has the tools with which it can “see in real-time” the “resurgence, re-emergence of the terrorist threat from Afghanistan” and take the necessary measures.
The head of American diplomacy said that the United States is making great efforts to develop the peace process in Afghanistan, for dialogue between the parties to the conflict, to come to a political settlement.
“In the end, it is not in anyone’s interests in Afghanistan, whether it is the Taliban or anyone else, and certainly not the people of Afghanistan, to plunge back into a civil war, into a protracted war,” he said. – And if the Taliban intends to participate in some form in the government of the country, get international recognition… then he should join the political process.”
“Our ultimate goal is Afghanistan, which has found a just and sustainable solution to this conflict that has been going on for four decades. In such a situation and conditions, the likelihood of terrorism is reduced,” Secretary Blinken concluded.