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Afghanistan turmoil

Biden says Afghanistan was never about nation-building

Washington's two-decade mission comes to chaotic end

U.S. President Joe Biden defends the American withdrawal from Afghanistan in a speech at the White House on Aug. 16.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON/TOKYO/KABUL -- America's mission in Afghanistan was never about nation-building, and its only national interest there was to prevent a terrorist attack on the homeland, U.S. President Joe Biden said Monday in televised remarks.

Under immense political pressure from both Republicans and fellow Democrats, the president cut short his stay at Camp David and returned to the White House. The remarks, which were not initially on his public schedule Monday morning, sought to defend his April decision to withdraw that has since resulted in a Taliban takeover.

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