Biden claims Afghanistan withdrawal ‘extraordinary success’ in address to nation

DM

In an address to the nation exactly 24 hours after he abruptly ended a chaotic evacuation of US troops from Afghanistan, a defensive and at times surly President Biden insisted the bug-out was an “extraordinary success,” despite the stranding of hundreds of American citizens and thousands of Afghan allies. “As we close 20 years of war and strife and pain and sacrifice, it’s time to look to the future, not the past,” Biden said near the end of a 26-minute speech that was delivered in strident, occasionally angry tones and echoed earlier remarks justifying his decision to call home all US forces after nearly 20 years in Afghanistan. [Biden] did not take shouted questions from the White House press corps following the conclusion of his remarks. The president repeated Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s estimate from a day earlier that between 100 and 200 Americans were left behind in Afghanistan who wish to leave. But he vowed that “there is no deadline” to get those US citizens out of Taliban-controlled territory. […] As he had done in other statements, Biden attempted to shift the blame for the fiasco onto two parties: the US-backed government and former President Donald Trump.

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