Updated 2:25 p.m.
President Joe Biden says he stands “squarely behind” his decision for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan.
Speaking about the chaotic situation in Afghanistan, Biden says he faced a choice between following an agreement to withdraw or sending thousands more U.S. troops for a “third decade” of war.
Biden spoke Monday after the planned withdrawal of American forces turned deadly at Kabul’s airport Monday as thousands tried to flee Afghanistan following the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country.
Biden returned to the White House from the Camp David presidential retreat to deliver his first public remarks on the situation in nearly a week.
Senior U.S. military officials say the chaos at the airport left seven people dead Monday, including some who fell from a departing American military transport jet.
At just short of 20 years, the now-ending U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan was America's longest war.
Ordinary Americans tended to forget about the war, and it received measurably less oversight from Congress than the Vietnam War did. But its death toll for Afghans and Americans and their NATO allies is in the many tens of thousands. And because the U.S. borrowed most of the money to pay for it, generations of Americans will be burdened by the cost of paying it off.
As the U.S. approaches its deadline for ending combat at the end of this month, Taliban fighters are threatening to erase much of what Americans had been there fighting for.
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