The head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, defended his country’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan on Sunday, stating that the terrorist threat has moved elsewhere and that Washington must redirect its resources towards challenges such as China and the covid pandemic. -19.
President Joe Biden announced last week that the United States would withdraw all its forces from the country before the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
The unconditional withdrawal, four months after the deadline agreed with the Taliban last year, comes despite the stalemate in peace talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government.
CIA chief William Burns and some US generals, such as former military chief David Petraeus, have argued that this move could plunge the country into further violence and leave the United States more vulnerable to terrorist threats.
“The terrorist threat has moved to other places. And we have other very important issues on our agenda, including the relationship with China, including dealing with issues from climate change to covid, “Blinken told ABC’s” This Week “program.
“And that’s where we have to focus our energy and resources.”
Blinken met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and senior US officials in Kabul last week, briefing them on Biden’s announcement on Wednesday to end “the eternal war,” which began in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The head of diplomacy told ABC that his country had “achieved the objectives” it set for itself. “Al Qaeda has significantly degraded. Their ability to carry out an attack against the United States now from Afghanistan does not exist, ”he said.
The Pentagon, which once had more than 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, now has 2,500 troops in the country. Thousands more make up a NATO force of 9,600 soldiers, which will be withdrawing at the same time.
The delay in the withdrawal, albeit just over four months, has angered the Taliban, who have threatened to resume hostilities against US forces.
Blinken said, however, that Washington will be able to see any Taliban movement “in real time” and take action.
“So if they start something again, they will be immersed in a long war that does not interest them either,” said the secretary of state.