President Joe Biden previously said in 2012 all U.S. troops will be out of Afghanistan by 2014 during a vice presidential debate against Former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, according to a video.
“In fact in the meantime, what we said we would do, we would help train the Afghan military. It’s their responsibility to take over their own security. That’s why with 49 of our allies in Afghanistan, we’ve agreed on a gradual draw-down so we’re out of there, by the year, in the year 2014,” Biden said in a video uploaded by The New York Times. The president is set to announce either Tuesday or Wednesday that all U.S. troops will be removed from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, senior administration officials said.
Former President Donald Trump and the Taliban agreed in 2020 that all American forces will be pulled out of the country by May 1, provided that the Taliban maintains their commitment to control terrorism. The Taliban has repeatedly broken their peace agreement with the U.S. after launching a series of attacks despite an existing ceasefire.
Biden said during his first solo-press conference in March that meeting Trump’s May 1 deadline was going to be challenging. The president responded “I can’t picture that being the case” when asked whether he can imagine American troops remaining in Afghanistan in 2022.
“We went there for one reason, to get those people who killed Americans, Al-Qaeda. We decimated Al-Qaeda central, we have eliminated Osama Bin Laden, that was our purpose,” Biden said in 2012, according to the video.
Two senior administration officials confirmed Biden’s planned announcement for a Sept. 11, 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan to the Daily Caller, but asked to remain anonymous since they weren’t cleared to publicly explain the plans.
Biden denied Ryan and now-Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney’s claim that the withdrawal was conditional and said it’s up to the people of Afghanistan to oversee their own security, according to the 2012 video.
“We are leaving, we are leaving in 2014. Period. And in the process, we’re gonna be saving over the next 10 years another $800 billion. We’ve been in this war for over a decade, the primary objective is almost completed. Now all we’re doing is putting the Kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security. It’s their responsibility, not Americans,” Biden said during the video.
Biden further said that the Kabul government, as seen with Iraq, won’t shoulder responsibility “unless you set a timeline,” according to the video.
“They’re happy to let us continue to do the job, international security forces to do the job. The only way they step up is say fellas we’re leaving. we trained you. Step up step up. That’s the only way it works,” Biden said during the video.