With the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan all but complete, US President Joe Biden took the stage and offered a full-throated defense of his decision to remove American troops after almost 20 years of conflict.
Anyone expecting a mea culpa for how quickly and thoroughly the Taliban was able to take control, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered earlier in the day, would have been disappointed by Biden, who placed the blame entirely on the Afghan political and military leadership.
“Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight. If anything, the developments of the past week reinforced that ending US military involvement Afghanistan now was the right decision,” Biden said in an address from the White House.
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