LEAVING AFGHANISTAN
Reason magazine|October 2021
WORLD
BRIAN DOHERTY

THIS SUMMER, THE U.S. government finally set an official end date for America’s two-decade military misadventure in Afghanistan. After announcing a drawdown of the U.S. troops presence there in April, President Joe Biden declared at a July 8 press briefing that the U.S. “military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31.”

Fulfilling a campaign promise, Biden admitted what the U.S. should have admitted more than a decade ago: “The United States did what we went to do in Afghanistan,” he said. The goal, he explained, was “to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and to deliver justice to Osama bin Laden and to degrade the terrorist threat to keep Afghanistan from becoming a base from which attacks could be continued against the United States.” He added that “we achieved those objectives.”

The mission was not, Biden said, “to nation-build.” Rather, “it’s the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.”

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