Biden defends US pullout from Afghanistan

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Washington

President Joe Biden on Tuesday mounted a fierce defence of his exit from Afghanistan as the “best decision for America,” the day after the US military withdrawal celebrated by the Taliban as a major victory, saying it was in the US national interest.

“We no longer had a clear purpose in an open-ended mission in Afghanistan,” he said a day after the final withdrawal.

“This is the right decision. A wise decision. And the best decision for America,” Biden said in an address to the nation in Washington, after he stuck to an August 31 deadline to end two decades of bloodshed that began and ended with the hardline Islamists in power.

 

He spoke after the United Nations warned of a looming “humanitarian catastrophe” in Afghanistan, underscoring the daunting challenges that the victorious Taliban face as they transform from insurgent group to governing power.

The choice for the United States in Afghanistan was either to withdraw from the country or escalate the
conflict, the president said.

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