Read the full transcript of Biden's speech on Afghanistan

So it remains for me to ask those who argue that we should stay: How many more generations of American daughters and sons would you want ...


So it remains for me to ask those who argue that we should stay: How many more generations of American daughters and sons would you want me to send to fight the civil war in Afghanistan when the Afghan troops will not? How many more lives, American lives, is it worth, how many endless rows of headstones in Arlington National Cemetery? My answer is clear: I will not repeat the mistakes we have made in the past. The mistake of staying and fighting indefinitely in a conflict which is not in the national interest of the United States, of doubling down on a civil war in a foreign country, of attempting to remake a country by endless military deployments American forces. These are the mistakes we cannot keep repeating because we have an important vital interest in the world that we cannot afford to ignore.

I also want to acknowledge how painful this is for many of us. The scenes we see in Afghanistan are heartbreaking, especially for our veterans, our diplomats, our aid workers – for all those who have spent time on the ground working to support the Afghan people. For those who lost loved ones in Afghanistan, and for the Americans who fought and served our country in Afghanistan, it is deeply, deeply personal. It’s also for me.

I have worked on these issues for as long as anyone. I traveled all over Afghanistan during this war, during the war, from Kabul to Kandahar, passing through the Kunar Valley. I have been there four times. I have met the people. I spoke with the leaders. I spent time with our troops and came to understand firsthand what was and was not possible in Afghanistan. So now we are focusing on what is possible.

We will continue to support the Afghan people. We will lead with our diplomacy, our international influence and our humanitarian aid. We will continue to push for regional diplomacy and engagement to prevent violence and instability. We will continue to defend the human rights of the Afghan people, women and girls, just as we do all over the world.

I have been clear, human rights must be at the center of our foreign policy, not at the periphery. But the way to do it is not through endless military deployments. It is with our diplomacy, our economic tools and the rallying of the world to join us.

Let me describe the current mission in Afghanistan: I have been asked to authorize, and have done so, 6,000 US troops to deploy to Afghanistan to assist with the departure of US and Allied civilian personnel. from Afghanistan, and to evacuate our Afghan allies and vulnerable Afghans to security outside Afghanistan. Our troops are working to secure the airfield and ensure the continuity of operations on civil and military flights. We take control of air traffic. We have safely closed our embassy and transferred our diplomats. Our diplomatic presence is now consolidated at the airport as well.

Over the next few days, we plan to transport thousands of US citizens who have lived and worked in Afghanistan. We will also continue to support the safe departure of civilian personnel – the civilian personnel of our allies who continue to serve in Afghanistan. Operation Allies Refuge, which I announced in July, has already moved 2,000 Afghans eligible for special immigration visas and their families to the United States. In the coming days, the US military will provide assistance to move more SIV-eligible Afghans and their families out of Afghanistan.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Read the full transcript of Biden's speech on Afghanistan
Read the full transcript of Biden's speech on Afghanistan
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