Former US vice president and Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden's comments on Afghanistan have caused a strong reaction from the Afghan government and others.
Addressing a debate in New Hampshire on Saturday, Biden said he was “totally against the whole notion of nation-building in Afghanistan” and that “the only thing we should be doing is dealing with terrorism in that region.”
“There’s no possibility to unite that country, no possibility at all of making it a whole country,” Biden said, referring to Afghanistan. “But it is possible to see they’re not able to launch more attacks," he said.
Another Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, spoke of ending the war in Afghanistan by working with US allies in the fight against terrorism.
“We all have an interest in dealing with terrorism and controlling terrorism,” Warren said. “We should work with our allies in managing terrorism, but we need to end this war in Afghanistan. We cannot wait five more years or ten more years.”
The Presidential Palace responded by saying that the unity of Afghanistan as a nation is evident to the world.
“The people of Afghanistan are a unified nation and we have been with each other through everything, and we have fought against the enemies of Afghanistan as a united nation,” said Durani Jawed Waziri, a spokesman for the Presidential Palace.
A Canadian politician and a former diplomat, Chris Alexander, called Biden’s remarks “immoral.”
“Joe Biden was intensely hostile to the Afghan mission even as VP-elect in late 2008,” Alexander tweeted. “If implemented, his policy would have ceded de facto control of the country back to ISI neo-colonialists. Shame on him for persisting in such absurd, immoral and intellectually bankrupt notions.”
“I think the Afghan people merit and are able to build a nation and unite around their own core values and peaceful objectives,” the EU special envoy for Afghanistan, Roland Kobia, tweeted. “The EU believes in nation-building in Afghanistan for all Afghans and is proud to contribute to it.”
“If the fifty years of war (in Afghanistan) was in another country, all its citizens would have been in the hospital,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, chairman of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan.
Former president Hamid Karzai in a statement called Joe Biden's remarks on Afghanistan "irresponsible" and "unrealistic" and said "it is evident that the US has never sought nation-building in Afghanistan."