[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.
President Biden ended the 20-year war in Afghanistan. This is one of the biggest presidential accomplishments in modern American history.
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) August 31, 2021
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.”
"some changed their minds at the last minute"
"some wanted to bring very large extended families"
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) August 31, 2021
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.
The past 17 days have seen our troops execute the largest airlift in US history. They have done it with unmatched courage, professionalism, and resolve. Now, our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended.
My full statement: https://t.co/kfLkzQtEzp
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 30, 2021
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.
The foreign policy consensus loves military adventurism. The American people do not. And Joe Biden knows who he works for.
Great speech, Mr. President. https://t.co/Dhtqs1g08u
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 31, 2021
Watch the President’s full speech, below.