2001: U.S. Invasion of Afghanistan

Joe Biden was ecstatic about the invasion of Afghanistan and wanted the U.S. to deploy “badasses” who “shoot and kill people.”

399542 02: U.S Senator Joseph Biden,Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meets with a Afghan students at Ariana High school January 12, 2002 during his visit to Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/ Getty Images)
Sen. Joe Biden, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, meets with Afghan students at a school in Kabul on Jan. 12, 2002. Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Joe Biden joined in the unanimous Senate vote authorizing the invasion of Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks. During the early period of the occupation, he was aggressive about the role of the United States in reshaping Afghan society and clear about using military force as a tool for statecraft. On a 2002 fact-finding mission to Kabul, Biden called for a long-term international security force to be deployed to the country in order to prevent a return to civil war. “I’m not talking about international peacekeepers. I’m not talking about U.N. blue helmets. I’m talking about people who shoot and kill people,” Biden said. “I’m talking about people who are a bunch of badasses who will come in here with guns and understand that they don’t have to check with anybody before they return fire.”

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