President Biden defended his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan as he said it wasn’t feasible to “invade” every country where the Islamic militant group has a presence.
Biden made the comments while speaking in Shanksville, Pennsylvania Saturday on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
“Can al Qaeda come back? Yeah. But guess what? It’s already back in other places,” the president said.
“What’s the strategy? Every place where al Qaeda is we’re going to invade and have troops staying there? Come on!”
Biden then noted the majority of Americans are on his side over withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan after a costly and deadly two-decade war there, while conceding most disapproved of the implementation of the exit.
“Again, what people are — as I read it, I’m told, 70 percent of the American people think it was time to get out of Afghanistan, spending all that money,” he said. “But the flip of it is, they didn’t like the way we got out. But it’s hard to explain to anybody, how else could you get out?”
A recent Washington Post-ABC poll showed 77 of Americans back Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, though a slight majority disapprove of his handling of it.
In August, as the US wound down its occupation in Afghanistan, the Taliban seized control of much of the country and an ISIS-K suicide bombing at the airport in Kabul killed 13 American service members and scores of Afghans.
On Saturday, the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Biden visited each of the three sites where the attacks took place. Starting the day at the solemn ground zero ceremony in Manhattan, the president then headed to Shanksville before a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon.
“These memorials are really important,” Biden said in Pennsylvania. “But they’re also incredibly difficult for the people affected by them, because it brings back the moment they got the phone call, it brings back the instant they got the news, no matter how years go by.”
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