SALT LAKE CITY — At one minute before midnight on Monday in Kabul, the last C-17 cargo aircraft carrying U.S. forces left Afghanistan. It ended America’s 20-year war. The withdrawal was a success, said a former Utah Democratic legislative leader.
“I was not going to extend this forever war,” President Joe Biden said in a speech Tuesday at the White House. adding the only other option was to step up and keep fighting.
Mr. Biden said Tuesday 90% of Americans who wanted to leave were able to do so, according to Reuters.
US troops make exit a success
Former Utah Senate Minority Leader Scott Howell joined KSL NewsRadio’s Debbie Dujanovic to discuss the US exit from Afghanistan.
After the rapid and unexpected collapse of the Afghan military and government, 123,000 people were evacuated from the country. Of those evacuated, 6,000 were Americans.
“I think more and more of us need to understand that [the evacuation mission] was a significant success. Americans should be proud of what the US military has accomplished in the past two weeks,” Howell said.
US to continue helping evacuate Americans and Afghans
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the U.S. will continue to try to get Americans and Afghans out of the country. The U.S. will work with Afghanistan’s neighbors to secure their departure either over land or by charter flight once the Kabul airport reopens. He said the number of Americans who are in Afghanistan and still want to leave may be closer to 100, rather than the earlier estimate of 200, according to yahoo!news.
Since 2002, the United States spent almost $83 billion equipping and training the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces, or ANDSF, including providing almost $10 billion in aircraft and vehicles, according to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
But as Americans continue to depart the country, and after the collapse of Afghan forces, the US military left weapons of war behind.
“That equipment was there for the . . . Afghans and security forces, and we left tens of billions worth of equipment,” Howell said.
“America’s longest war has been by any measure a costly failure and efforts in managing the conflict deserve truly scrutiny in the years to come, but Joe Biden doesn’t own the mayhem,” Howell said.
During his White House speech on Tuesday, Biden said: “This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan, it’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.”
Howell said four US president presided over the Afghan war. But only Biden had the courage to end it.
Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.
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