President Biden on Thursday said “there’s no mission accomplished” as US troops depart Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of war, but he also insisted that “the mission hasn’t failed — yet.”
Biden gave the dim assessment as he rejected comparisons to the US pullout from South Vietnam — brushing off the possibility that the Taliban will restore their Islamic fundamentalist rule after a series of military victories.
“The Taliban is at its strongest militarily since 2001,” Biden said in remarks in the White House East Room. But he added, “The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”
Biden said the US must “fight the battles of the next 20 years, not the last 20 years.”
But Biden’s framing of whether the US accomplished its objectives in Afghanistan varied as he took reporters’ questions.
“The mission was accomplished in that we got Osama bin Laden and terrorism is not emanating