US military power must be our tool of last resort, not our first: Biden at UN
United Nations, Sep 21: President Joe Biden on Tuesday called on nations to remain vigilant to the threat of terrorism emanating from "distant regions" of the world or in "our own backyard", saying those who commit acts of terrorism against America will continue to find a "determined enemy" in the United States.
Biden, in his first address to the UN General Debate as the US President, said that the world of today is not the world of 2001 and the United States is not the same country "we were when we were attacked on 9/11 20 years ago". "As the United States seeks to rally the world into action, we will lead not just through the example of our power but God willing, with the power of our example. Make no mistake, the United States will continue to defend ourselves, our allies and our interests against attacks including terrorist threats as we prepare to use force if any as necessary," he said.
He said "we must also remain vigilant to the threat that terrorism poses to all our nations, whether emanating from distant regions of the world or in our own backyard". "We know the bitter sting of terrorism. The bitter sting of terrorism is real. We've almost all experienced it," Biden said, referring to the last month's terror attacks at Kabul airport claimed by the ISIL-K (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - Khorasan Province), an outfit affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS), after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.
Biden said that last month, "we lost" 13 "American heroes" and almost 200 innocent Afghan civilians in a "heinous" terrorist attack in Kabul. "Those that commit acts of terrorism against US will continue to find a determined enemy in the United States," he said. "Today, we're better equipped to detect, to prevent terrorist threats and we are more resilient in our ability to repel them and to respond," he said.
Biden said the US knows how to build effective partnerships to dismantle terrorist networks by targeting their finances and support systems, countering their propaganda, preventing their travel as well as disrupting imminent attacks. "We'll meet terrorist threats that arise today and in the future with the full range of tools available to us, including working in cooperation with local partners so that we need not be so reliant on large-scale military deployments," he said.
Biden underlined that to defend "our vital US national interest", including against ongoing and imminent threats, the mission must be clear and achievable, undertaken with the informed consent of the American people and whenever possible, in partnership with US allies.
"US military power must be our tool of last resort, not our first. It should not be used as an answer to every problem we see around the world. Indeed today, many of our greatest concerns cannot be solved or even addressed through the force of arms.
"Bombs and bullets cannot defend against COVID-19 or its future variants. To fight this pandemic, we need a collective act of science and political will," the US President added. The ISIL-K carried out a gruesome attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul and at a hotel nearby last month. Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul's airport last month, killing at least 60 Afghans and 13 US troops. PTI YAS CPS AKJ CPS