WORLD / CROSS-BORDERS
Biden says deteriorating situation in Afghanistan "did unfold more quickly" than U.S. anticipates
Published: Aug 17, 2021 09:01 AM
A Taliban militant is seen in Herat province, Afghanistan, Aug. 13, 2021. The Afghan Taliban said their members overran three more provincial capitals on Friday, after they have taken control over a dozen cities within a week.Photo:Xinhua

A Taliban militant is seen in Herat province, Afghanistan, Aug. 13, 2021. The Afghan Taliban said their members overran three more provincial capitals on Friday, after they have taken control over a dozen cities within a week.Photo:Xinhua

Taliban militants are seen inside the Ghazni city, eastern Afghanistan, Aug. 12, 2021. Taliban militants Thursday overran Afghanistan's eastern Ghazni province's capital city Ghazni, 150 km from the national capital Kabul, provincial council member Hasan Reza Yusufi said.Photo:Xinhua

Taliban militants are seen inside the Ghazni city, eastern Afghanistan, Aug. 12, 2021. Taliban militants Thursday overran Afghanistan's eastern Ghazni province's capital city Ghazni, 150 km from the national capital Kabul, provincial council member Hasan Reza Yusufi said.Photo:Xinhua

Taliban militants are seen in Herat province, Afghanistan, Aug. 13, 2021. The Afghan Taliban said their members overran three more provincial capitals on Friday, after they have taken control over a dozen cities within a week.Photo:Xinhua

Taliban militants are seen in Herat province, Afghanistan, Aug. 13, 2021. The Afghan Taliban said their members overran three more provincial capitals on Friday, after they have taken control over a dozen cities within a week.Photo:Xinhua


U.S. President Joe Biden said Monday that the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan "did unfold more quickly" than the United States had anticipated, adding, however, that he stands by the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the war-torn country.

Returning to the White House from Camp David ahead of schedule to deliver televised remarks on Afghanistan, Biden said: "I stand squarely behind my decision" to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, adding "the truth is this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated."

Biden blamed what happened in Afghanistan over the last few days on U.S.-backed political leaders fleeing and abandoning the country and the military lacking the will to fight.

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani left the country on Sunday night, while the Taliban forces entered the capital of Kabul and took control of the presidential palace.

"If anything, the developments of the past week reinforced that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, now, was the right decision," Biden said. "American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves."

The United States had ordered to deploy roughly 6,000 troops to Afghanistan to support the personnel evacuation mission.
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