Speed Reads


Biden argues U.S. troops shouldn't fight in war that 'Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves'

President Biden on Monday defended his Afghanistan exit strategy in a speech, arguing that American troops shouldn't fight and die in a war that the U.S.-trained Afghan military "is not willing to fight for itself." He was referring to the fact that Afghanistan's security forces appeared to put up little resistence against the Taliban's offensive last week.

Over the last couple of days, as the Biden administration has faced criticism over how the withdrawal has unfolded amid the Taliban's takeover of Kabul, multiple White House officials has repeated that talking point. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, for instance, suggested the Afghan security forces' "inability" to hold off the insurgents was a primary reason as to why Afghanistan fell so much more quickly than anticipated. And National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that while the U.S. may have spent a lot of money building up Afghanistan's defense, they could not give the forces "the will" to fight.

The argument hasn't sat well with everyone, though — some people view it as Biden and his Cabinet trying to deflect blame.