Biden defends handling of Afghanistan

Biden defends handling of Afghanistan

U.S. President Joe Biden said Monday he made the right call to pull American troops out of Afghanistan even though he said the Taliban's swift seizure of Kabul unfolded faster than expected.

"I stand squarely behind my decision," Biden said during a speech at the White House. 

Biden said Afghan officials – including former President Ashraf Ghani – had assured him Afghan forces would fight the insurgents.

“The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated,” Biden said.

Without specifying any particular mistakes that were made, Biden said the withdrawal process has been "hard and messy – and yes, far from perfect."

But Biden emphasized he is honoring the commitment he made when he ran for president to bring the military involvement to an end.

The president interrupted a working vacation at Camp David to make his first public comments about the Taliban's takeover of the country, a foreign policy debacle – particularly for a president who came to the office with decades of foreign policy experience.