As President Joe Biden stood in the rain amid the graves of American soldiers killed in Afghanistan, explaining his decision to begin a way out of America’s longest war, he had thoughts of his late son Beau.
The President’s eldest son was awarded a Bronze Star when he served in Iraq in 2008-2009. His death in 2015 from a brain tumor still haunted his father.
“It’s hard for me these days to show up in a cemetery without thinking about my son Bo, who with pride insisted on putting on a uniform and going with his unit to Iraq, stepping down as Delaware’s attorney general because he thought it was right.” – Biden told reporters at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington.
“Look at them all,” Biden said, pointing to the rows of white headstones behind him.
Bo Biden’s military experience was one of the reasons the president decided to withdraw all 2,500 US troops from Afghanistan by 9/11, announcing this in a televised address before visiting the cemetery.
“I’m the first president in 40 years to know what it’s like to have a child serving in a war zone,” Biden said at the White House Treaty Hall, where President George W. Bush announced the start of the war in 2001. …
“Throughout this entire process, my guiding light has been the memories of my late son Bo was sent to Iraq,” Biden said.
Since becoming vice president in 2009, Biden said he has carried a card with him with the exact number of American troops killed and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. So, as of Wednesday, 2,488 people died and 20,722 were injured in Afghanistan.
“All these victims are sacred human beings, leaving families behind,” he said.
The war in Afghanistan began as a search for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, after he orchestrated the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States that turned Bush into a military president.
In 2011, the number of the American military contingent in Afghanistan reached its peak – more than 100 thousand people. Afghan security forces are currently trying to suppress the insurgency of the Islamist Taliban.
A complete withdrawal by 9/11 makes sense, Biden said, since the original mission of capturing bin Laden has been completed and Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for Islamist militants like bin Laden.
Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan by the US military in 2011.
“We already have servicemen doing their duty in Afghanistan, whose parents served in the same war. We have military personnel who were not yet born when our country was attacked on 9/11, ”Biden said, noting that no one expected this war to be a multigenerational affair.
At Arlington Cemetery, Biden was asked if the decision was difficult for him.
“No, it wasn’t,” he replied. “It was absolutely clear to me. Absolutely. You may remember that I never thought that we were there to somehow unite … Afghanistan. This has never happened. Never”.