Speed Reads

Afghanistan fallout

Biden says he stands 'squarely behind' decision to leave Afghanistan

President Biden addressed the unfolding and deteriorating situation in Afghanistan on Monday afternoon, maintaining previous assertions that the choice to end the United States' protracted military presence was the right one. 

"I stand squarely behind my decision," said Biden. "After 20 years, I have learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces. That's why we're still there."

The U.S. needed to either follow through on the agreement made between former President Donald Trump and the Taliban, or risk further escalating the conflict, Biden explained. "There was no agreement protecting our forces after May 1," he said, referencing the Trump-negotiated withdrawal deadline. "There was no status quo of stability without American casualties after May 1." Though the Taliban took over faster than he anticipated, Biden said he still firmly believes that "ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision."

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