Biden, defending a decision that has drawn scrutiny for his execution, said the real decision in Afghanistan was “between leaving and escalation,” framing his decision to withdraw troops as the only option other than sending more forces into the country.
“I was not going to extend this war forever, and I was not going to extend one way out forever,” he said.
The US withdrawal was shaken by the unexpected and swift takeover of the Afghan capital by the Taliban.
Snapshots of people trying to flee the Taliban congregating outside the gates of Kabul airport, along with images of inside US military planes packed with evacuees, were broadcast around the world.
And on Sunday, US forces carried out a deadly defensive attack on a suspected ISIS-K suicide bomber who posed an “imminent” threat to the airport.
The president maintained that the US military was prepared to deal with all those events, although he himself has admitted that the United States was caught off guard by the rapid collapse of the Afghan army.
“This is the way the mission was designed. It was designed to operate under severe stress and attack, and that’s what it did,” Biden said.
Biden addressed the American people on Tuesday (US time) about his decision not to extend the American military presence in Afghanistan beyond the end of the month.
Earlier, the president first met with his national security team for a briefing on Afghanistan in the Situation Room.
Biden paid tribute to the service members who were deployed to handle the pullout, including the 13 who died in the terror attack, and commended his colleagues who completed the mission.
Nations evacuate desperate people from Kabul
“For weeks they risked their lives to get American citizens, Afghans to help us, citizens of our allies and partners, and others to board planes and leave the country. And they did so in the face of huge crowds seeking to get out of the country. country, “Mr. Biden said.
Biden said he intends to hold the Taliban accountable for their commitment that those seeking to leave the country will be able to do so safely.