Transcript for Biden on Afghanistan: Withdrawal 'Does Not Depend on Conditions'
Let's move on to Afghans cannot -- and I try to move on Afghanistan as. And that's one of the biggest expenditures this country has paid in dollars and more importantly in lives. We just passed the sad milestone of losing 2000 US troops there -- this war more than fifty of them. Were killed this year by the very Afghan forces we are trying to help. Now we've reached a recruiting goal for Afghan forces we've degraded al-Qaeda. So tell me why not leave now what more can we really accomplish. Is it worth more American lives. We don't want to lose the gains we've gotten. We want to make sure that the Taliban does not come back -- and give al-Qaeda safe haven. We agree with the administration 12014 transition. But when I think about Afghanistan I think about incredible job. That our troops have done you've been a more than the two -- combined. First time I was there in 2002 it was amazing to me what they were facing. I went to argun -- -- in Kandahar before the surge. Has stepped down with a young private in the 82 from the economic Indian reservation who would tell me what he did everyday -- I was an off. And see what they -- in front of them and then to the back there in December to go throughout -- with the Marines to see what -- accomplished. It's nothing short of Lebanese. Well we don't want to do is lose the gains we've got. Now we even disagreed from time to time on a few issues we would have more likely take into account. That recommendations from our commanders General Petraeus and -- -- on troop levels throughout this year's fighting season. We've been skeptical about negotiations with the Taliban says two other shooting at us. But we want to see the 2014 transition. Be successful. And that means we want to make sure. Our commanders have what they need to make sure that it is successful so that this does not once again become a launching pad for terrorists. -- As a -- let's keep Brian ball. Reason I've been in Afghanistan -- twenty. I've been puppet -- or about it throughout that whole country -- helicopter. Sometimes. Fact is we went there for wineries. To get those people who killed Americans. Al-Qaeda. -- decimated al-Qaeda central. We have a limited in -- sub -- That was our purpose. And in fact in the meantime what we said -- do we would help train. The Afghan military. It's their responsibility. To take over their own security. That's why with 5049. Of our allies in Afghanistan we've agreed on that gradual draw down so we're out of there. By the year twenty in the year 2014. My friend and the governor say it's based on conditions -- -- it depends. It does not depend for us. It is the responsibility of the Afghans. To take care of their own security. We had trained over 3151000. Mostly without is there have been more than two dozen. Cases of green on blue were Americans have been -- If we do not anthem at the measures the military has taken do not take cold we will not. Go on joint patrols we will not trained field will only train in the in the army bases of the existing. But we are -- we are leaving in 2014. Period and in the process. We're going to be saving over the next ten years another 800 billion dollars we've been in this war for over a decade. That you object primary objective is almost completed. Now all we're doing is putting the Kabul government in a position -- -- able to maintain their own security it's their responsibility. Not a -- It's what what conditions could justify. Staying times. We don't want to stay we want to work. -- my best friend in Janesville. Reservists is at forward operating base in eastern Afghanistan right now felt like your best friends -- daughters are best friends. I want I want him and all of our troops to come home as soon and safely as possible. We want to make should between fourteen successful that's why we want to make sure that we give our commanders what they say they need to make it successful. We don't want to extend beyond 2014 that's the point -- making you know. If there was just this. I feel like we would we would be -- that. Call this a success. But it's not. What we -- witnessing as we turn on our television screens these days is the absolute unraveling of the Obama foreign policy. Problems are growing at home but job -- -- growing abroad. -- jobs are growing here at home let me go back to this he says we're absolutely. Leave in 2014. You're saying that's not an absolutely you won't talk he once -- actions which asking why we say that I'd like -- we don't want to broadcast or enemies. Put a date on your calendar wait this out and then come back which we -- with China we do. We do agree with the -- -- -- in the transition. But what we know what what any administration will do -- -- -- thirteen. It's assess the situation to see how best to complete this time we what we go out wanna do it in 24 we do -- -- -- do. Is give our allies. Reason to trust us less in our enemies. More and we don't want to embolden our enemies. To hold and wait out for us and then take over the north and that's a bizarre that we want to make sure don't central Arctic says it's 49 of our allies here. And 49. Of our allies. Signed on to this position and we're reading that they want warning -- 49 of our allies out in 2014. It's their responsibility. Afghans. Do we have other villages inside. We have we have some mergers and Marines we have Afghan forces murdering. Our forces of the Taliban as. Do you think taking advantage of this time. -- -- -- What we found out -- -- you saw in Iraq. Unless you set a time. Baghdad. In the case of Iraq hand and on -- in the case of Afghanistan will not step up they're happy to let us continue to do the job. International security force -- The job. The only way they step up is say fellas -- -- We -- you step up step up. Let me -- only way it works. Let me go back to that this surge troops that we put in there and and you brought this up congressman Ryan. I have talked to a lot of troops had talked to senior officers who were concerned. That the surge troops were pulled out during the fighting season and some of them saw that as a political as a political move. So can you tell -- Vice President Biden what was the military reason for bringing those search troops home. -- -- region and bring out by the way when the president announced the surge you'll remember. He said the surge will be out by the end of the summer. The military said the surge will be out another political about this before the surge occurred so you -- straight -- -- -- to. Before the surge occurred. We said they'll be out by the end of the summer that's of the military's. The reason for that is military follows orders I mean -- trust me there are people sure -- concerned about pulling out it. There are -- -- -- there are concerned but not the joint chiefs that was there recommendation. In the Oval Office to the president of the United States of America I sat there. I'm sure you'll find someone disagrees with the Pentagon. I'm positive you'll find that within the military but that's not the case here and secondly the reason why the military said that as you can't not wait. And have a cliff. It takes you know months and months and months to draw down forces -- -- and can't. Point illustrate the issue here because -- -- -- confusing. -- we've all met with general Allen and journalist -- -- in Afghanistan -- talk about fighting seasons here's the way it works. The mountain -- is filled with snow the Taliban and the terrorists and the economy and the -- a Shura come over from Pakistan. To fight our men and women. When it -- it -- no they can't do it that's what we call fighting seasons in the warm months fighting gets really high in the winter it goes down. And so when admiral Mullen and General Petraeus came to congress. And said. If you -- these people out before the fighting season -- and it puts people more at risk that's the problem. Yes we drew 20000 troops down last month but the remaining troops that are there who still had the same mission to prosecute counterinsurgency. Are doing it with fewer people. That makes them less savings we're sending fewer people out. In all these hot spots. To do the same job -- -- supposed to do a month ago because we what we heard of point -- thousand people out turned -- to delivered to the Afghan troops we train. No one got pulled out -- didn't get filled in by trained. Afghan personnel. And -- conflict. He's he's inflating two issues the fighting season that Petraeus was talking about and former -- admiral Mullen. Was the fighting season this spring. That's and he was talking about we did not we did not pull them -- the -- works the -- every year. It does work the same every couldn't deliver hot summer -- -- that. It's warm or it's not. They're still fighting us that are still coming over the passes. The -- there are still coming in. His novel the -- are all of these areas but we are sending fewer people that the front to fight them and that that's right thing because that's the Afghan responsibility. We've trained. Not in the east let's move let's move to another war on. He's watching east RC RS is most dangerous place such quarrel that's why we don't want to send fewer -- that's what -- should -- Americans and the job Saturday. You'd rather America's big job we -- already sending Americans do the job but fewer of them that's the that's right we're sending in more Afghans to do the job. Afghans to do the job.
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