President Biden’s Speech on the U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Aug.31, 2021

The following is a transcript of President Biden’s remarks about Afghanistan on Tuesday, a day after the United States concluded its two-decade war there with the end of evacuation flights and the departure of the last American troops.

“Last night in Kabul, the United States ended 20 years of war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history. We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety. That number is more than double what most experts thought were possible. No nation, no nation has ever done anything like it in all of history. Only the United States had the capacity and the will and the ability to do it, and we did it today.

The extraordinary success of this mission was due to the incredible skill, bravely and selfless courage of the United States military and our diplomats and our intelligence professionals.

For weeks, they risked their lives to get American citizens, Afghans who helped us, citizens of our allies and partners and others on board planes and out of the country. And they did it facing a crush of enormous crowds, seeking to leave the country. And they did it, knowing ISIS-K terrorists, sworn enemies of the Taliban, were lurking in the midst of those crowds.

And still, the women and men in the United States military, our diplomatic corps and intelligence professionals did their job and did it well, risking their lives, not for professional gain, but to serve others. Not in a mission of war, but in a mission of mercy. Twenty service members were wounded in the service of this mission. Thirteen heroes gave their lives.”

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