Biden Defiantly Defends Withdrawal From Afghanistan

President Joe Biden spoke to the nation Tuesday on the end of the war in Afghanistan
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Washington (CNN) President Joe Biden spoke to the nation Tuesday on the end of the war in Afghanistan, defending the chaotic withdrawal from Kabul a day after the last American military planes left the country, concluding the US' longest war nearly 20 years after it began.

"My fellow Americans, the war in Afghanistan is now over," Biden said at the White House. "I'm the fourth president who has faced the issue of whether and when to end this war. When I was running for president, I made a commitment to the American people that I would end this war. Today I've honored that commitment."

Biden, in defending a decision that has drawn scrutiny for its execution, said the real choice in Afghanistan was "between leaving and escalating," framing his call to withdraw troops as the only option aside from surging more forces to the country.

"I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit," he said.

Biden argued that the US "no longer had a clear purpose in an open-ended mission in Afghanistan" and that the US' withdrawal signaled "ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries."

The US withdrawal was rocked by the Taliban's unexpectedly swift takeover of Afghanistan's capital.

Read more here.

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