Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a surprise visit to Afghanistan Thursday, to sell the country's leaders and a concerned public on President Biden's plan to pull American troops out of the country. The visit comes a day after the President said the 9/11 attacks could no longer justify U.S. forces staying in the region.
"We went to Afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago," Biden said Wednesday. "That cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021."
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The pullout plan calls for all American forces, numbering some 2,500, to be withdrawn by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks which were coordinated from Afghanistan.
"The war in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multi-generational undertaking. We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives," said Biden.
But Republicans like South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, oppose withdrawing the troops, saying it could lead to a comeback of terrorism.
"Again, there are no great outcomes, but this is the worst possible outcome is to pull up and leave and hope that things will turn out well," said Graham. "That did not happen in Iraq and it did not happen here."
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said, "Foreign terrorists will not leave the United States alone simply because our politicians have grown tired of taking the fight to them."
President Biden disputes that claim. He said the U.S. will prevent the re-emergence of terrorists in the region.
Meanwhile, regardless of the criticism, the president has made his decision and the U.S. will be out of Afghanistan within five months.