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August 18, 2021

Unyielding Biden stands ‘squarely behind’ withdrawal from Afghanistan

President Joe Biden said that he stands “squarely behind” his decision to pull US troops out of Afghanistan, amid stark criticism from both parties over the way his administration handled the rapid withdrawal. The situation has been referred to as the “biggest crisis of his presidency.”

“I stand squarely behind my decision,” the president said in his address to the nation. “After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces. That’s why we’re still there. We were clear-eyed about the risk.

“We planned for every contingency, but I always promised the American people that I would be straight with you. The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. So, what’s happened? Afghanistan’s political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed sometimes without trying to fight.”

Biden did not admit to any fault, saying that the events of the past few days had made him feel vindicated. He said that US troops should not fight a war that Afghan soldiers are unwilling to fight themselves.

“We gave them every chance to determine their own future. We could not provide them with the will to fight for that future,” Biden said.

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