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Biden addresses UN general assembly amid Covid, climate change and China challenges


U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 21, 2021.

Reuters WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden defended ending America’s longest-running war in Afghanistan during Tuesday’s address to the UN General Assembly. He said that this will enable the U.S. pivot towards other global issues like climate change, the Covid pandemic and ambitious China.| Reuters

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden defended his decision to end America’s longest war in Afghanistan in his address to the United Nations on Tuesday, a move that he says will allow the U.S. to pivot to other global challenges like the Covid pandemic, climate change and an ambitious China.

Biden’s debut address to the 193-member body since taking office in January comes as the U.S. president strives to rebuild alliances that crumbled under the reign of his predecessor and reclaim a global leadership position. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the United States president addressed a smaller gathering of UN General Assembly members. The majority of speakers made prerecorded comments.

Biden stated from the green speaker’s rostrum, “As we turn our focus towards the priorities and regions like the Indo-Pacific which are most consequential today & tomorrow, we’ll do this with our allies through the cooperation of multilateral institution like the United Nations. To amplify our collective strength & speed.”

“Instead, continuing to fight wars from the past. The president stated that we are looking at the future and focusing our efforts on the challenges facing us.

This collective future is being strained by the ongoing pandemic and uncertainties surrounding climate change as well rising tensions within NATO. France was left on the margins by last week’s U.K.-U.S. decision to make a deal with Australia, creating diplomatic tension.

Joe Biden, the U.S. president, held a virtual conference with Boris Johnson (R), and Scott Morrison (R), on September 15, 2021. They announced a new partnership for security to improve stability in the Indo-Pacific.

AFP – Getty Images Still Biden attempted to strike a positive tone.| AFP | Getty Images

Still, Biden tried to strike a positive tone. As we end this time of unending war. Biden stated that we are launching a new era in relentless diplomacy.

Biden said that U.S. militarism “must only be used in the last resort and not as our primary tool.” This should not be considered a panacea for every issue we are facing around the globe.

Under Biden’s eye, the U.S. withdrawal of approximately 3,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan ended in disaster as the Taliban carried out a succession of shocking battlefield gains. The Taliban captured Kabul’s presidential palace despite being outnumbered by Afghan forces that have been assisted for many years by NATO and U.S. alliance forces.

Biden ordered the deployment of thousands of U.S. troops to Kabul to help evacuate U.S. Embassy staff and secure the perimeter of the airport. Meanwhile, thousands of Afghans swarmed the tarmac at the airport desperate to flee Taliban rule.

U.S. Airmen, U.S. Marines lead qualified evacuees aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan (HKIA), August 21, 2021.

US Air Force | Reuters

The Biden administration has since placed blame on America’s rushed exit from the country on the Trump administration and rapid collapse of the Afghan national government.

Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told lawmakers: “We inherited a deadline; we did not inherit a plan,” referencing Trump’s 2020 deal with the Taliban to leave the country. There had not been one interview at the Special Immigrant visa program in Kabul in nine months. This was going back to March 2020. Blinken, who spoke on September 13, stated that “the program was in an impasse.”

Blinken declared that “we made the right choice in ending America’s longest war and we did not send another generation of Americans to die fighting in Afghanistan.”

Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary, testifies in front of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the U.S. withdrawal form Afghanistan. The hearing was held at Capitol Hill, Washington, September 14th, 2021.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

In another blunder, the Pentagon admitted last week that a U.S. drone strike in Kabul amid evacuation efforts killed as many as 10 civilians including up to seven children.

The strike came on the heels of a suicide bomb attack by the terrorist group ISIS-K that resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans near Hamid Karzai International Airport.

The Pentagon originally said the strike, which was launched Aug. 29, killed two ISIS-K fighters believed to be involved in planning attacks against U.S. forces in Kabul. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called the civilian deaths a “horrible error” and directed a review of procedures to assess whether there are any “accountability actions” that need to taken.

Biden attempted to draw attention to the security measures of the future when he addressed the assembly. He stated that the U.S. would be focused on defeating terror using strategic precision and avoiding major combat initiative.

Today is the 20th anniversary of the United States not being at war. Biden declared that the United States has turned the page.

All the strength, energy and commitment of this nation are now focused squarely on what lies ahead. It’s not what happened behind.

‘We stand, in my view, at an inflection point in history’

Biden called on global leaders to address the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 4.5 million people.

Biden spoke out, saying that the devastating pandemic has cost so much of our lives. Biden said “Our collective grief is a poignant reminder, that our collective fate will depend on our ability to recognize and act together.” He urged leaders to encourage citizens to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

We must work together in order to save lives and defeat COVID-19 wherever we are. Also, it is important to take steps to be prepared for any future pandemics. Biden asked. Or will we not be able to utilize the resources at our disposal when the most virulent and dangerous variants of the virus take over?”

President Obama reiterated to the leaders that the United States is committed to ending the outbreak of coronavirus, explaining to them that the administration had invested over $15 billion in global Covid-19 responses.

“We have shipped over 160 million Covid-19 vaccines overseas. He said that this includes 130 million doses of vaccines we have in our supply.

Allies are ‘essential and central’ to America’s prosperity’

During a meeting in Greoux-les-Bains as part of “Great National Debate”, on March 7, 2019, the French President Emmanuel Macron makes gestures.

Christophe Simon | AFP | Getty Images

A White House official said Monday that Biden has asked to speak with Macron, but Élysée has yet to agree to such a call.

According to an official, President Biden asked for a chance to meet with President Macron in order to discuss the future and his commitment to U.S.-France alliance. This alliance has been fostering security, stability, prosperity all over the globe for many decades.

While we are not in agreement with the French’s view on how it all came about, we can understand their position. The official said that they will be continuing to engage in this matter over the next days.

According to the White House official, “The President feels extremely positive about the way forward and about American foreign policy’s vital role in mobilizing the world and particularly rallying like-minded democracys to address the great challenges facing our time.”