White House insists no ‘mission accomplished moment’ as America’s 20-year war winds down

White House press secretary Jennifer Psaki made a reference to George W. Bush’s declaration in Iraq

Eric Garcia
Thursday 08 July 2021 19:00
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<p>Jen Psaki</p>

Jen Psaki

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Despite President Joe Biden preparing to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan after two long decades of combat, the administration says there will not be a “mission accomplished” moment to pre-eminently celebrate.

White House press secretary Jennifer Psaki was asked what plans, if any, President Biden had to commemorate the withdrawal of troops as he plans to give an address about the subject on Thursday. Ms Psaki declined to preview the president’s address later in the day.

“But we’re not going to have a ‘mission accomplished’ moment in this regard,” she said. “It’s a 20-year war that has not been won militarily. We are proud of the men and women who have served. Incredibly grateful.”

The phrase is a reference to when former President George W Bush delivered a speech during the War in Iraq aboard an aircraft carrier with a banner read that read “Mission Accomplished” before the nation devolved into a civil war. The term has now become shorthand for declaring victory prematurely.

When asked if this meant the mission was not accomplished, Ms Psaki said the US was making the right call by withdrawing.

“We’re not having a moment of celebration,” she said. “We’re having a moment where we feel it’s in our national security interest to bring our men and women serving home.”

Ms Psaki’s remarks come as Mr Biden prepares to address the nation about the War in Afghanistan and the United States’ withdrawal.

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