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    Biden says he stands ‘squarely behind’ Afghanistan decision


    Washington  —  President Joe Biden said Monday that he stands “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan and that the government’s collapse was quicker than anticipated.

    Speaking about the chaotic situation in Afghanistan, Biden said Monday that he faced a choice between an agreement to withdraw U.S. forces or send thousands more U.S. troops back in for a “third decade” of war. Biden said he will not repeat the mistakes of the past.

    Biden spoke after the planned withdrawal of American forces turned deadly at Kabul’s airport as thousands tried to flee following the Taliban’s swift takeover of the government.

    These are Biden’s first public remarks on the Afghanistan situation in nearly a week. Biden and other top U.S. officials had been stunned by the pace of the Taliban’s swift routing of the Afghan military.

    Senior U.S. military officials say the chaos at the airport left seven people dead Monday, including some who fell from a departing American military transport jet. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss ongoing operations.

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