President Joe Biden spoke candidly about the collapse of the Afghan government, Monday, admitting that the Taliban retook control faster than the United States expected. He added that regardless, he stands by his decision to end the American military's involvement in the region.
"I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I've learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces. That's why we're still there, we were clear-eyed about the risks, we planned for every contingency. But I always promised the American people I would be straight with you," Biden said. "The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated."
He also described the videos of Afghans clinging to a U.S. Air Force plane leaving the country as, "gut-wrenching."
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
The troubling scenes coming out of the country have forced many to come to terms with the reality that the United States has utterly failed to help build a sustainable government in the country, despite twenty years of direct involvement in the region, over $2 trillion in spending, and the deaths of thousands of Americans, Afghan security forces, civilians, and more.
Some have criticized Biden's decision to withdraw, arguing that more time was needed to stage a safer withdrawal, while others have agreed with the President that there will never be a good time to pull American troops.
Check out Biden's speech below.