Referring to the chaotic situation in Afghanistan, Biden said that he was faced with the choice of sticking to the previously reached agreement on the withdrawal of American troops this year, or to send more American soldiers back to Afghanistan for the “third decade” of the war.
He said that he did not want to repeat the mistakes from the past and that he did not regret the decision to continue the withdrawal.
“I stand firmly behind my decision,” Biden said in a White House televised address.
“After 20 years, I learned the hard way that it was never a good time to withdraw American forces,” he said.
Biden addressed the nation the day after the Taliban captured the capital Kabul after a flash of offensive and chaotic situation that followed.
“It is true that it happened much faster than we expected,” Biden said of the Taliban’s conquest of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has plunged into chaos as the Taliban have taken over parts of the country in recent days and entered Kabul this weekend as the United States tried to withdraw its forces, diplomats, allies and Afghans who had worked with the coalition for 20 years.
The American president said that he would rather receive criticism about the consequences of the American withdrawal than leave that decision to another president, and that the decision to leave Afghanistan is “a good decision for America”.
The rapid end of the Afghan government only shows that his choice to end the war was the right one, he added.
“American soldiers cannot and should not fight in a war, and die in a war in which Afghan forces alone are not ready to fight,” the US president said.
Biden warned the Taliban not to interfere in the American evacuation in Afghanistan and threatened “destructive force” if necessary.