Biden Defends Afghan Pullout, Sets Evacuation for Translators

WASHINGTON—President Biden said the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan is on track to end on Aug. 31, arguing that the U.S. had achieved the objectives it set out two decades ago and adding that his administration would move thousands of potentially endangered Afghan interpreters out of the country next month.

Mr. Biden’s comments came as the insurgent Taliban movement has taken over a third of the country in the face of a crumbling Afghan military, while U.S. military officers predict a possible civil war and intelligence officials say the Afghan government could fall in as little as six months.

Nonetheless, Mr. Biden offered a fulsome defense during comments Thursday at the White House about his decision in April to pull out U.S. troops.

“We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build. It’s the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country,” Mr. Biden said, making the case that the U.S. had degraded the terrorist threat in Afghanistan.

Noting the more than 2,000 American deaths during the war, Mr. Biden said it was time to leave. “I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no expectation to achieve a different outcome,” he said.

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