Biden Said The Mission In Afghanistan Was Never ‘Nation Building.’ That’s Not What He Said In 2001
Washington, DC - August 16: President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the situation in Afghanistan in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, DC.
Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building,” President Joe Biden stated during his speech on Monday afternoon on the subject of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. “It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy.”

“I’ve argued for many years that our mission should be narrowly focused on counterterrorism — not counterinsurgency or nation-building,” he added.

However, the claim that the objective was never “nation-building” appears to contradict his earlier arguments regarding the goals of the war in Afghanistan.

For example, in 2001, then-Senator Biden said that “Our hope is that we will see a relatively stable government in Afghanistan, one that… provides the foundation for future reconstruction of that country.”

Then, in 2003, Biden spoke before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the importance of a continued presence in the region.

“In some parts of the administration, nation-building is still a dirty phrase,” Biden said. “But the alternative to nation-building is chaos, a chaos that churns out blood-thirsty warlords, drug traffickers, and terrorists.”

These contradictory comments on purpose are simply further examples of the inconsistent rhetoric delivered by Biden on the subject of Afghanistan.

As explained by Ben Zeisloft for The Daily Wire, Biden “expressed his confidence in the Afghan military’s ability to fend off the Taliban after the American military’s exit” just over a month ago.

“Together, with our NATO Allies and partners, we have trained and equipped… nearly 300,000 current serving members of the military of the Afghan National Security Force, and many beyond that who are no longer serving,” explained Biden during a July 8 press conference. “Add to that, hundreds of thousands more Afghan National Defense and Security Forces trained over the last two decades.”

When asked whether a “Taliban takeover of Afghanistan” was “now inevitable,” Biden rejected the idea.

“No, it is not,” he responded. “The Afghan troops have 300,000 well-equipped — as well-equipped as any army in the world — and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable.”

In addition, it’s important to understand that the “nation-building” aspect of the War in Afghanistan was not a primary part of the original objectives. These included the defeat of terrorist leaders and their organizations, the end of state-sponsored terrorism, and the protection of U.S. citizens both at home and abroad.

As CNN explained, “The United States linked the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to al Qaeda, a group that operated under the Taliban regime’s protection in Afghanistan. The operation was launched to stop the Taliban from providing a safe haven to al Qaeda and to stop al Qaeda’s use of Afghanistan as a base of operations for terrorist activities.”

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Biden Said The Mission In Afghanistan Was Never ‘Nation Building.’ That’s Not What He Said In 2001