White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday that the U.S. did not win the war in Afghanistan and that there is no “mission accomplished” moment.
“We’re not going to have a ‘mission accomplished’ moment, in this regard. It’s a 20-year war that has not been won militarily,” Psaki said. “We are proud of the men and women who have served.”
“We’re not having a moment of celebration,” Psaki said. “We’re having a moment where we feel it’s in our national security interest to bring our men and women serving home, and we feel it’s in our national security interest for Afghan forces to be in the lead.”
Psaki said that the Biden administration would push for a “political outcome and a political solution” and that the U.S. did “exactly what we wanted to do.”
"We're not going to have a mission accomplished moment," Psaki says on the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. “We did exactly what we intended to do” https://t.co/sKi2YIEZBU pic.twitter.com/2XbOVGeSMY
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) July 8, 2021
REPORTER: Jen, Is this speech that’s happening by the President considered the final word by the White House, at least as America’s longest war draws down, or does the President plan to mark this in some other way when all of the troops are out?
PSAKI: Well, Jeff, I would say that the President will continue to update the American people as commander-in-chief why he’s making choices that are in our national security interest. Today is an example of that and today is an opportunity to communicate again why he made the decision he made and communicate again why it’s in our interests. So I’m not going to rule out if he will or won’t speak on Afghanistan in the future.
PSAKI: In terms of plans for our men and women coming back up, I don’t have anything to preview, but we’re not going to have a mission accomplished moment in this regard. It’s a 20 year war that has not been won militarily. We are proud of the men and women who have served, incredibly grateful. The President will note that in his remarks today, how grateful he is for their service and the families who have sacrificed over the last 20 years, and we will continue to press for a political outcome and a political solution. But beyond that, I think we’re going to continue to look for ways to communicate why we make the choices we make.
REPORTER: You mentioned mission accomplished. Has this mission not been accomplished?
PSAKI: Well, I would say we did exactly what we wanted to do. What I was referring to, Jeff, is we’re not having a moment of celebration. We’re having a moment where we feel it’s in our national security interests to bring our men and women serving home, and we feel it’s in our national security interests for Afghan forces to be in the lead. We did exactly what we intended to do, and certainly that is something, thanks to the leadership of our military, we have achieved, however, there is not benefit in our view and continuing to fight this war militarily.
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