President Biden on Monday stood by his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan, while also acknowledging the situation descended into chaos faster than he expected and accepting some responsibility.
“I stand squarely behind my decision,” Biden said in remarks from the East Room of the White House, adding that his administration planned for every contingency. “After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.”
“I always promised the American people I will be straight with you. The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we anticipated,” Biden said.
The speech marked Biden’s first public comments since the Taliban completed a stunningly swift takeover of Afghanistan on Sunday after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and militants took over the presidential palace in the capital city.