Biden forcefully defends Afghanistan exit and decision to end war

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Biden forcefully defends Afghanistan exit and decision to end war
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Biden forcefully defends Afghanistan exit and decision to end war
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President Biden on Tuesday defiantly defended his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan by August 31, a withdrawal that ended a two-decade-long war when the final final U.S. military aircraft from the main airport in Kabul.

“I was not going to extend this ‘forever war,’ and I was not extending a ‘forever exit,'” the president told the nation in a Tuesday afternoon address.

The president began by touting the military evacuation of thousands of Americans and Afghans, an operation he called successful, even though some Americans and vulnerable Afghans who helped the U.S. remain in the country. The president had earlier said the U.S. would stay if Americans were still left.

“No nation has ever done anything like it in all of history,” the president said of the massive U.S. evacuation efforts. “Only the United States had the capacity and the will and the ability to do it, and we did it today.”

He also sought to emphasize that the effort to move Americans out of Afghanistan began earlier than most were aware, stating that the U.S. “reached out to Americans in Afghanistan 19 times with multiple warnings and offers to help them leave Afghanistan, all the way back as far as March.”

Now, he said, 100 to 200 Americans remain in the country. He said most of them are dual citizens with roots in Afghanistan. The Pentagon admitted Monday that there were Americans who wanted to leave, but were not able to make it to the airport in the final hours before the U.S. departed.

“The bottom line, 90% of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave,” the president said. “And for those remaining Americans, there is no deadline. We remain committed to get them out if they want to come out.”

You can read the rest of Melissa Quinn and Kathryn Watson’s article at CBSnews.com

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