“Would you send your own son or daughter?”
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday defended his decision to pull out of Afghanistan and said and the remainder of troops on the ground will leave by August 31st – bringing an end to America’s longest war.
"I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome."
The president has faced increasing pressure from critics on his decision to pull out –Biden’s speech Thursday represented his most extensive comments to date about the U.S. withdrawal.
Biden said the United States had long ago achieved its original rationale for invading the country in 2001: to root out al-Qaeda militants after 9/11. The mastermind of that attack, Osama bin Laden, was killed by a U.S. military team in 2011.
"We achieved those objectives, that's why we went. We did not go to Afghanistan to nation build. And it's the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country."
Biden said U.S. plans to move thousands of Afghan interpreters out of the Afghanistan in anticipation of the end of the U.S. mission. Some fear reprisals from the Taliban for their involvement with Western countries. They can apply for U.S. visas to enter the United States. Locations are still being worked out.
The United States last weekend abandoned Bagram air base, the longtime staging ground for U.S. military operations in the country.
The Pentagon says the withdrawal of U.S. forces is now 90% complete.