Biden defends Afghanistan policy amid mounting criticism of withdrawal
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday defended his administration’s decision to continue with the U.S. military drawdown in Afghanistan, blaming the U.S.-backed Afghan government and military for allowing the Taliban to take over.
“Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country; the Afghan military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight,” Biden said. “If anything, the developments of the past week reinforce that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision.”
Speaking to the American public from the White House, Biden said he stood firmly by his decision and argued that he was faced with a choice to either follow through with the drawdown or escalate the conflict into its third decade and ultimately sacrifice more American lives.
“I stand squarely behind my decision,” Biden said. “After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there…