Biden Defends Aug. 31 Exit From Afghanistan: ‘We Did Not Go to Nation Build’

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Biden Defends Aug. 31 Exit From Afghanistan: ‘We Did Not Go to Nation Build'” – below is their description.

    President Joe Biden said the American military mission in Afghanistan will conclude by Aug. 31, arguing that the U.S. achieved its goals and that it was not there to build a nation.

    “I want to be clear: the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan continues through the end of August,” Biden said in a speech at the White House on Thursday. He said the U.S. will continue “to speak out for the rights of women and girls” even as the Taliban makes quick gains amid the American drawdown.

    Biden reflected on America’s longest war, which will end just shy of its 20-year anniversary after the deaths of 2,448 U.S. service members and nearly 21,000 wounded. He said the U.S. invasion had succeeded at bringing to justice Osama bin Laden, the perpetrator of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but that “there’s no mission accomplished” — an allusion to former President George W. Bush’s premature declaration of victory in the Iraq War.

    “I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome,” Biden said. “The United States cannot afford to remain tethered to policies created in response to the world as it was 20 years ago.”

    Biden also said the U.S. would continue to provide civilian and humanitarian aid, and help the Afghan defense forces maintain their air force. But, he added, countries in the region should “step up their efforts.”

    He insisted it is not inevitable that the Taliban will retake control of the country, noting that the Afghan government has a far larger army and an air force.

    “They have the capacity, they have the forces, they have the equipment,” he said. “The question is: will they do it.”

    But he said the country is “highly unlikely” to be ruled by a single, “unified” government.

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    In This Story: Afghanistan

    Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.

    Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.

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    Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Yazidis, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandaeans, Circassians, Sabians and Kawliya. Around 99% of the country’s 38 million citizens are Muslims, with small minorities of Christians, Yarsans, Yezidis and Mandeans also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

    Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation.

    Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 19 governorates, four of which make up the autonomous Kurdistan Region. Disputes over the sovereignty of Kurdistan Region continue.

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    Joe Biden is an American politician serving as the 46th and current president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017 under Barack Obama and represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009.

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    The United States is a country also known as the United States of America, USA, US or just America. There are fifty states in the union, which is a federal republic ruled by a representative democracy. Nearly ten million square kilometres are inhabited by over 300 million people. The majority of Americans speak English.

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