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Biden Defends Troop Withdrawal: 'We Did Not Go to Afghanistan to Nation-Build'

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President Joe Biden is defending the nation’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying the United States achieved its objectives.

“The United States did what we went to do in Afghanistan, to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and deliver justice to Osama Bin Laden and to degrade the terrorist threat to keep Afghanistan from becoming a base in which attacks could be continued against the United States,” Biden said while delivering remarks on Thursday.

He continued, “We achieved those objectives. That’s why we went. We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build, and it is the right and the responsibility of Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.”

Check out his remarks below:

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki indicated earlier on Thursday the United States did not complete its mission.

“We’re not going to have a mission accomplished moment in this regard. It’s a 20-year war that has not been won militarily. We are proud of the men and women who have served, incredibly grateful,” Psaki said during a press briefing.

Biden continued to defend the decision during his remarks, asking, “How many thousands more of America’s daughters and sons are you willing to risk?”

He added, “How long would you have them stay? I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan.”

The president said troops would be home by Aug. 31.

The War in Afghanistan resulted in more than 2,400 deaths and close to 21,000 wounded.

CBS News notes the Taliban has been seizing more territory as U.S. troops have been leaving. The Taliban has seized control of more than 80 of the 407 districts in Afghanistan in the past two months, CBS News reports, citing the Long War Journal.

“The Afghan government and leadership has to come together. They clearly have the capacity to sustain the government in place,” Biden said.

He went on, “The question is will they generate the kind of cohesion to do it? It’s not a question of whether they have the capacity — they have capacity. They have the forces. They have the equipment. The question is will they do it?”

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