Defensive, US President says evacuation ‘extraordinary success’ – Times of India


NEW YORK: President Biden on Tuesday hailed what he called the “extraordinary success” of the evacuation of Kabul as he vehemently defended his decision to end America’s war in Afghanistan, just one day after the end of a twoweek rescue of 1,25,000 people from Kabul that saw the deaths of 13 service members.
Speaking from the White House, Biden said the nation owed a debt of gratitude to the troops who died in the evacuation mission. “Thirteen heroes gave their lives,” he said in a speech in which he offered no apologies for either his decision to end the war or the way in which his administration executed that mission. “We owe them and their families a debt of gratitude we can never repay, but we should never, ever, ever forget.”
Biden appeared intent on forcefully rejecting criticism of the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan, offering a defensive recounting of his decision-making and blaming former president Trump for negotiating a bad deal with the Taliban that boxed Biden and his team in. “That was the choice, the real choice between leaving or escalating,” Biden declared, his tone angry as he opened the first minutes of his remarks. “I was not going to extend this forever war.”





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