Biden in 2010 on US Duty to Protect Afghan People: 'F That'
The remarks come from a 2010 diary entry from Obama's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, the U.K.'s Daily Mail reported Tuesday.
When Holbrooke asked then-Vice President Biden about the American duty to protect vulnerable Afghan civilians, Biden shot back with a four-letter word and a historical reference, the Mail reported.
"F*** that, we don't have to worry about that," Biden told Holbrooke just months before his death in 2010. "We did it in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger got away with it."
Before his death in December 2010, Holbrooke was appointed special adviser to Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2009. His diary, turned over to biographer George Packer, suggested Biden was one of the administration's most vocal critics of the war in Afghanistan and a skeptic of America's duty to the Afghan people.
Biden defended his decision to withdraw Monday, even if the reality the Taliban quickly took control of the country as the Afghanistan government leader fled and the U.S.-trained military refused to fight the Taliban.
Despite warnings of that eventuality, Biden went over the advice of his military leaders to fully and unconditionally withdraw American forces from the country by Sept. 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the Taliban-trained terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"I am president of the United States of America, and the buck stops with me," Biden said from the White House on Monday, briefly interrupting his Camp David vacation.
"The truth is – this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. So what's happened? Afghanistan's political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight.
"So I'm left again to ask of those who argue that we should stay: How many more generations of America's daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghanistan's civil war, when Afghan troops will not?
"I'm clear in my answer: I will not repeat the mistakes we've made in the past. The mistake of staying and fighting indefinitely in a conflict that is not in the national interest of the United States."
The events come just weeks after Biden had refused to place trust in the Taliban and also refused to admit a takeover after withdrawal would be imminent.
"The likelihood there's going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely," Biden said then, but which ultimately happened.