Biden Defends Afghanistan Withdrawal After Ending War Overseas

Headline Roundup August 31st, 2021

President Joe Biden defended his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan during a national address on Tuesday afternoon, insisting that the Aug. 31 deadline was "designed to save American lives." The final U.S. military transport plane departed Afghanistan on Monday night, formally marking the end of America’s longest war. Biden reiterated that the conflict "should've ended long ago" as the nation no longer had a "clear purpose" for being stationed in Afghanistan. He then praised the U.S. military for "their execution of the dangerous retrograde from Afghanistan as scheduled," calling the withdrawal an “extraordinary success.” As for the reported 100 to 200 Americans that still remain in Afghanistan, Biden said "there is no deadline" to get them out "if they want to come out."

Coverage from across the spectrum highlighted how a large majority of Americans have been critical of Biden's withdrawal strategy. Right-rated outlets were more likely to highlight how Biden "pinned partial blame" on former President Donald Trump for the chaotic nature of the withdrawal. Left-rated outlets were more likely to mention how Trump signed an agreement last year with the Taliban for a U.S. withdrawal by May 1, 2021.

From the Left

President Joe Biden, speaking to nation Tuesday, gave his fiercest defense yet of his self-imposed deadline to withdraw the U.S. military from Afghanistan -- a day after the last troops left the country, bringing America's longest war to a close -- but only after a chaotic and deadly exit.

"Let me be clear, leaving August the 31st, is not due to an arbitrary deadline. It was designed to save American lives," a defiant Biden said, responding to harsh criticism both of his decision to leave and how it was handled....

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From the Center

President Biden defended the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, saying that 90% of Americans in the country who wanted to leave were able to depart.

Mr. Biden addressed the nation from the White House Tuesday, a day after the final plane carrying American troops departed Afghanistan, formally marking the end of the nation’s longest war. The president said his administration would continue to work to help remaining Americans exit the country and pushed back against criticism of the withdrawal.

“Leaving Aug. 31 is not due to an arbitrary deadline,” Mr. Biden said. “It...

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From the Right

In an address to the nation exactly 24 hours after he abruptly ended a chaotic evacuation of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a defensive and at times surly President Biden insisted the bug-out was an “extraordinary success,” despite the stranding of hundreds of American citizens and thousands of Afghan allies.

“As we close 20 years of war and strife and pain and sacrifice, it’s time to look to the future, not the past,” Biden said near the end of a 26-minute speech that was delivered in strident, occasionally angry tones and echoed earlier remarks justifying his decision...

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