U.S. President Joe Biden firmly said on Monday that he does not regret his decision amid a chaotic evacuation of people from Kabul since the Taliban seized the capital of Afghanistan. “Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on the American homeland,” he said. Biden added that he will not repeat the mistake of staying and fighting indefinitely in a conflict that is not in the national interest of the U.S.
Following former President Donald Trump who insisted on “America First,” Biden publicly announced that there would be no more case in which the U.S. neglects its own national interests and plays the role of the international police despite his declaration that America is back.
The withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Afghanistan was simply the Biden administration’s implementation of the agreement made between the U.S. and the Taliban in February 2020 when former President Trump was in office. While some argue that President Biden should be held responsible for the chaos in Kabul, there are few people who criticize the withdrawal itself regardless of political biases. Criticism is mainly on the U.S.’s failure to keep the promise of ensuring Afghan citizens’ safety in the process of withdrawal, which led to a loss of trust in the U.S. among Afghan citizens and in the international community.
“We spent over a trillion dollars. We trained and equipped an Afghan military force of some 300,000 strong. Incredibly well equipped. But if Afghanistan is unable to mount any real resistance to the Taliban now, there is no chance that one year — one more year, five more years or 20 more years — that U.S. military boots on the ground would have made any difference.,” President Biden said. “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.” It may sound reasonable remarks but carries serious meaning to the allies of the U.S. It cannot be expected that the U.S. will continue to fight for a country whose leaders are unwilling to train its military to protect the country and make comments damaging to the alliance.
South Korea has been building back and developing itself since its liberation based on its alliance with the U.S. Historically, a one-sided alliance where one party gives and the other takes – as seen during the Cold War – is rare. Alliance is basically a give and take relationship. We should take a lesson from the situation in Afghanistan that a country that only brings burden to its allies – whether in terms of military or economy – can be dismissed by allies at any time.