In an admission of defeat in its longest military adventure so far, the US government Thursday said the war in Afghanistan has “not been won militarily” as it draws curtains on the 20-year long campaign.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the US President Joe Biden had “no plans” of marking the complete drawdown of US-led allied forces from the war-ravaged country.
Answering questions from reporters at a White House presser, she said Biden might speak on Afghanistan in the future in terms of plans for the end.
“We're not going to have a mission accomplished moment in this regard,” Psaki said. “It's a 20-year war that has not been won militarily.”
It came as Biden defended his decision to pull US troops out of Afghanistan, confirming the US military mission will end on Aug. 31, ahead of his original Sept. 11 deadline.
“I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome,” the US President said Thursday.
“Our military commanders advised me that once I made the decision to end the war, we needed to move swiftly to conduct the main elements of the drawdown. And in this context, speed is safety,” he asserted.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) on Tuesday announced that the process to withdraw American forces from the war-torn country is more than 90% complete.
Last week, US troops quietly vacated Bagram Air Base, the largest US military installation in Afghanistan, which once hosted more than 100,000 US troops.
The US withdrawal from the country comes amidst surge in violence and takeover of multiple districts in northern parts of the country by the Taliban militant group.
Biden also said that “the likelihood there will be one unified government in Afghanistan controlling the whole country is highly unlikely.”
The US president has faced criticism at home over the withdrawal, although his Republican predecessor Donald Trump had brokered an agreement with the Taliban to end US involvement in the war.
He has also been accused by Afghan politicians and human rights activists of abandoning the country at a time when the Taliban and its affiliates have upped the ante.
According to conservative estimates by local and international rights groups, close to 47,600 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan during the 20 years of US invasion.