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[BREAKING] POTUS Defends Afghanistan Withdrawl in Fiery Speech

President Joe Biden gave a forceful defense on Tuesday of his decision to pull troops from Afghanistan as critics question the chaotic final chapter of the nation’s longest war.

“I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit,” he said in his first public speech since the last U.S. troops left Afghanistan. It’s time, he said, to stop using American soldiers to remake other countries. “I don’t think enough people understand how much we’ve asked of the 1 percent of this country who put that uniform on,” the President said.

 

President Biden also touted his administration’s evacuation efforts in Afghanistan as an “extraordinary success.” He rejected criticism from some that his administration could have handled the evacuations better by either beginning to evacuate people earlier in the summer or by extending the timeline beyond the Aug. 31 deadline in an effort to get more Afghan allies and Americans out of the country.

No matter when the U.S. started evacuations, he said, there would have been a rush to the airport, and staying longer would have meant escalating conflict with the Taliban. “Leaving Aug. 31st is not due to an arbitrary deadline. It was designed to save American lives,” President Biden said. “The bottom line is that there is no evacuation from the end of a war that you can run without the kind of complexities, challenges, and threats that we faced. None.”

The last U.S. flight out of Kabul took off a minute before midnight local time Monday. It was met with fireworks and gunfire as the Taliban celebrated the withdrawal, 20 years after their regime was toppled by American forces. Thirteen U.S. service members and more than 100 Afghan civilians were killed Wednesday, just days before the final withdrawal, in a suicide bomb outside the Kabul airport.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that the U.S. plans to continue providing humanitarian aid to the Afghan people through international organizations and may offer economic and developmental assistance to that nation, depending on the Taliban’s actions in the days ahead. President Biden has maintained it was no longer in America’s interest to keep a military presence in Afghanistan and that the U.S. has the capabilities to fight any terrorist threat there from outside its borders.

 

Watch the President’s full speech, below.



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