Joe Biden stands "squarely behind" decision to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan 3 months ago

Joe Biden stands "squarely behind" decision to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan

"If anything, the developments in the past week reinforce that ending US military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision."

US President Joe Biden has said he stands "squarely behind" his decision to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan.

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In an address on Monday night, Biden said America's mission in Afghanistan was "never supposed to have been nation-building" but was about "preventing a terrorist attack" against the US.

"As President, I'm adamant that we focus on the threats we face today in 2021, not yesterday's threats," he said.

"Today, the terrorist threat has metastasized well beyond Afghanistan... These threats warrant our attention and our resources.

"We conduct effective counter-terrorism missions against terrorist groups in multiple countries where we don't have permanent military presence. If necessary, we'll do the same in Afghanistan."

Biden also spoke about the deal former US President Donald Trump made with the Taliban.

"Under his agreement, US forces would be out of Afghanistan by 1 May, 2021... the choice I had to make as your president was either to follow through on that agreement or be prepared to go back to fighting the Taliban in the middle of the Spring fighting season," the President said.

"I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I've learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces.

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"We were clear-eyed about the risks. We planned for every contingency but... the truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated."

Biden stated that Afghanistan leaders "gave up" and fled the country, while the country's military collapsed "without trying to fight".

"If anything, the developments in the past week reinforce that ending US military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision," he stated.

"American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves."

Biden said the US will continue to support the Afghan people through diplomacy, international influence and humanitarian aid.

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"We will continue to push for regional diplomacy and engagement to prevent violence and instability," the President said.

"We'll continue to speak out for the basic rights of the Afghan people, of women and girls."