President Joe Biden says ending military involvement with Afghanistan was the best decision taken by the United States government.
Mr Biden, who spoke while addressing journalists at the White House on Monday, said that events of the past weeks justify the U.S. decision to withdraw its soldiers from Afghanistan.
Further justifying the U.S. decision, Mr Biden said American soldiers should not die in a war that Afghan forces are unwilling to fight in.
“Things did unfold more quickly than we have anticipated. So what happened? Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country, the Afghan military collapsed sometimes without trying to fight.
If anything, development of the past weeks reinforce that ending U.S. military involvement with Afghanistan now was the right decision,” Mr Biden said.
“American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves,” Mr Biden added.
His comment comes after Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country following Taliban fighters’ takeover of government.
Over the weekend, the extremists made major advances across Afghanistan as the U.S. and other countries started withdrawing their troops from the country.
The original date for the full withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan was September 11, to mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The group took over most of southern, northern and western Afghanistan.
Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province and the biggest city in the north, fell to the Taliban on Saturday, as regional leaders and security forces abandoned the city fleeing to Uzbekistan for safety.
Despite promising to take over the country peacefully without harming civilians, several reports reveal that citizens and foreigners are fleeing the city, from people queuing at ATMs to withdraw money to helicopters evacuating staff from the U.S. Embassy.
The U.S. government was forced to seize power from the insurgents in 2001 after a series of human rights abuses including executions; and extreme suppression of freedom of religion, expression, and education was recorded under the Taliban rule.
However, in 2020, U.S. and the Taliban entered a truce, outlining a phased withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in exchange for Taliban commitments to restrain from attacks on the U.S. or its allies from Afghan territory.
Mr Biden had in April announced that he will be withdrawing all American troops from Afghanistan over the coming months, completing the military exit by the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks that drew the U.S. into its longest war.