President Joe Biden addressed the nation Tuesday afternoon for the first time since American troops fully withdrew from Afghanistan and pinned partial blame on former President Donald Trump for some of the chaos that unfolded during the withdrawal.
“The previous administration’s agreement said that if we stuck to the May 1st deadline that they had signed on to leave by, the Taliban wouldn’t attack any American forces,” the president said during his Tuesday speech shifting blame to negotiations Trump had with the Taliban before he took office. “But if we stayed all bets were off, so we were 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.”
Biden said that the Taliban was in its “strongest military position since 2001” when he took office.
The president also added that August 31 was not an “arbitrary deadline” to withdrawal American troops but instead it was designed to “save lives.”
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