In a wide-ranging speech at the United Nations today, President Joe Biden made a curious and erroneous claim that the United States is no longer at war. Americans need to understand that the United States is nowhere to be found, even if we withdraw from Afghanistan.
Biden’s speech (read transcript here) has significantly focused on “looking forward”. It has fought against climate change, the spread of Kovid-1 of, protecting infrastructure from cyber attacks, and new terrorist attacks involving Iran and North Korea.
Earlier in the day, Biden noted that the United States (and the rest of the world) had “ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan.” This is certainly true. But later, as he was finishing his speech, Biden provided the following:
I stand here today, for the first time in twenty years, the United States is not at war. We turned the page. All the unparalleled strength, power, and commitment, will, and wealth of our nation, now fully and squarely what is in front of us, not what was behind it.
This is simply not true. As Commander-in-Chief, Biden is still working under the 2001 Approval of the Use of Military Forces (UMF), which gives the president the power to carry troops against those responsible for September 11, 2001. , Terrorist attacks, but in reality multiple U.S. presidents have used it to approve massive military intervention worldwide.
Moreover, the 2002 AMMF, which directly authorized a military invasion of Iraq, is still in force. The House voted in June 2002 to repeal the AUMF, but that repeal has not yet passed the Senate. We still have thousands of troops in Iraq and are currently planning to keep them there indefinitely. The plan is for these troops to serve as logistics and advisory support for the Iraqi government, but they must also be involved in the fight against Islamic State.
We may have withdrawn troops from Somalia, but we are still carrying out airstrikes against al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabab there. In June, the Pentagon announced that it was considering sending troops back there.
And none of this is countless – well, not countless, but the numbers have been deliberately hidden from the American public – drone strikes in places like Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan and Libya. We do not yet have information on the use of drones under the Biden administration, destroy 10 civilians, including 7 children, who were killed in Kabul in late August. Biden has quietly enforced strict rules on the use of drones off the battlefield, and the White House is evaluating the legal and policy “framework” for continuing their use.
Biden may not see all of this military intervention as a “war,” but let’s be clear here: we’re talking about thousands of U.S. troops abroad who are involved in the killing of potential armed fighters. And Biden still has congressional permission to fight.
This is not real peace. We “did not change a single page”. The United States should not make the mistake of withdrawing from Afghanistan as an end to 20 years of military intervention. U.S. military intervention is still ongoing.