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Video: Biden: ‘The War in Afghanistan Is Now Over’

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Biden: ‘The War in Afghanistan Is Now Over’

President Biden defended his decision to end America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan, a day after the U.S. closed a two-week evacuation of 125,000 people from Kabul that saw the deaths of 13 U.S. service members.

Last night in Kabul, the United States ended 20 years of war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history. We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety. The extraordinary success of this mission was due to the incredible skill, bravely and selfless courage of the United States military and our diplomats and intelligence professionals. Twenty service members were wounded in the service of this mission. Thirteen heroes gave their lives. I was just at Dover Air Force base for their dignified transfer. We owe them and their families a debt of gratitude we can never repay. But we should never, ever, ever forget. Let me be clear, leaving August the 31 is not due to an arbitrary deadline. It was designed to save American lives. The previous administration’s agreement said that if we stuck to the May 1 deadline that they had signed on to leave by, the Taliban wouldn’t attack any American forces, but if we stayed, all bets were off. So we’re left with a simple decision. Either follow through on the commitment made by the last administration and leave Afghanistan. Or say we weren’t leaving and commit another tens of thousands more troops going back to war. That was the choice, the real choice between leaving or escalating. I was not going to extend this forever war. My fellow Americans, the war in Afghanistan is now over.

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