US President Joe Biden has said that the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan was the best available option for him to end to country’s longest military campaign, adding that the other option would be going back to war.
“I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit,” he said in a televised address on Tuesday, just hours after the last US soldiers evacuated from Kabul airport ending 20 years of war.
“We succeeded in what we set out to do in Afghanistan over a decade ago. And we stayed for another decade. It was time to end this war. This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries,” he said.
The Taliban, which seized control of the country for the second time, celebrated their victory, saying that Afghanistan is finally a “free and sovereign” nation.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said their victory should serve “as a lesson” for the United States.
Taliban says formation of new gov’t in its final stages
The formation of Afghanistan’s new government is in its final stages, the Taliban has said, as the US withdrew the last of its forces from the country.
“The government will take shape in the following few days,” Anas Haqqani, a senior Taliban leader, told Al Jazeera.
He added that it was still too early to say who will be part of the new cabinet.
“We have covered about 90 to 95 percent and we will announce the final outcome in the following few days,” he said.