In a 26-minute speech, President Biden claimed he took ‘responsibility’ for his decisions on Afghanistan. But critics have accused him of passing the buck for the chaotic withdrawal which has seen the Taliban sweep to power and cost hundreds of lives. Mr Biden praised his troop’s “extraordinary success” in organising an airlift of more than 120,000 people over 18 days, who desperately wanted to flee the Taliban regime.
The US president had previously promised to airlift any US citizen who wanted to leave.
However, despite the best efforts of the military, there were hundreds of eligible refugees left behind after the August 31 deadline.
President Biden argues they were notified 19 times “with multiple warnings and offers to help them leave Afghanistan, all the way back as far as March”.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has been celebrating what they consider to be a victory, which included holding a ‘mock funeral’ for the US and NATO troops on the streets of Khost.
The hardline Islamic militants swept to power in only 11 days after US troops began to withdraw from the war-torn country they had supported for 20 years.
But President Biden pointed the finger at the Afghan army for the Taliban’s blistering success and claims he had instructed his team to prepare for that eventuality.
Former President Donald Trump was also a victim in last night’s blame game with the incumbent saying he had no choice but to withdraw US troops rapidly because of the deal Mr Trump cut last year with the Taliban.
“This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan, it’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.
“The war in Afghanistan is now over,” Mr Biden said.
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