Biden says he stands ‘squarely behind’ Afghanistan decision

By AdvocateNews on 16/08/2021

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US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — Striking a defiant tone, President Joe Biden said Monday that he stands “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan as he acknowledged the “gut-wrenching” images coming out of the country after the swift Taliban takeover of the government.

Biden said he had to choose between sticking to a previously negotiated agreement to withdraw U.S. troops this year or sending thousands more service members back into Afghanistan to fight a “third decade” of war. 

Biden, sounding resolute in the face of withering criticism of his handling of the situation, said he chose the latter so as not to repeat past mistakes. He reiterated that he had no regrets.

“I stand squarely behind my decision,” the president told the nation in a televised address from the White House East Room after he flew back from the Camp David presidential retreat. “After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.” 

Many disagree with Biden’s decision, angered by the chaos the world witnessed over the weekend as the Taliban ultimately captured Kabul, the capital, and Afghanistan’s president left the country.

Biden said he’d rather take the criticism over the fallout than pass the decision of how and when to withdraw to a fifth U.S. president. He said the decision to leave Afghanistan is “the right one for America” because keeping a U.S. presence there was no longer a U.S. national security interest. 

Biden described the images coming out of Afghanistan — especially at the airport in Kabul, where Afghans descended in hopes of fleeing the country — as “gut-wrenching.” Video of Afghans clinging to a U.S. Air Force plane and running alongside it as prepared to take off had circulated widely on the internet.

( AP)

Posted 16/08/2021 11:05:57 PM


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