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Biden says Afghanistan effort was never meant to be ‘nation-building’

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By Jenny Goldsberry

After a week of reports that the Taliban is overtaking Afghanistan after U.S. troops evacuated, President Biden stands by the withdrawal, saying the effort was never meant to be “nation-building.”

Biden addressed the nation about the Taliban overtaking Afghanistan Monday. Most Americans, 69.3% disapprove of his handling of Afghanistan military operations according to this weekend’s poll from the Trafalgar Group.

“My national security team and I have been closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Afghanistan,” Biden said, calling it a “rapid collapse.” But, he doubled down saying the mission from the beginning was “never supposed to be nation-building,” or “unifying.” Instead, he said it was about “preventing another terrorist attack on American homeland.”

“There was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces,” Biden said. “The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we anticipated.”

Yet to Biden, the developments of the past week confirmed to him that it was the right decision to withdraw. “Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves,” he said. Despite training and equipping the force, the 300,000 strong military collapsed. According to him, it was a force “larger in size than many of our NATO allies.” Then, the U.S. provided Afghanistan with an air force, something the Taliban does not have. Still the U.S. will continue to provide close air support.

“We could not provide them a will to fight for that future,” Biden said. “It is wrong to order military troops to step up when Afghanistan’s own forces would not.” In the meanwhile, Biden claimed our troops were “bearing the brunt of the fighting for them.”

Now, there are 6,000 soldiers assisting withdrawal and escape for Americans and at-risk Afghans. They have taken over air traffic control, transferring diplomats to the airport as well.

Biden did not take questions following the press conference.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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