PRESIDENT Joe Biden has blasted the Afghan army for "giving up" and has said that he "stands squarely behind" the decision to pull US troops out of the country.
Biden has finally returned to the White House to address the nation on the crisis in Afghanistan after days of silence.
He told reporters 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 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.
He added that he will not repeat the mistakes of the past.
"I stand squarely behind my decision", Biden said in a televised address to the nation from the White House East Room.
"After 20 years, I've learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces."
He said: "The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. So what's happened?
"Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country."
He added that the U.S. could not provide Afghan forces "with the will to fight" for the future.
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