President Joe Biden said the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will end by August 31, and he called on the country’s leaders to “come together” to prevent civil war.
“We did not go to Afghanistan to nation build,” Biden said Thursday in remarks at the White House.
After 20 years of war, he said, the ideal conditions that the U.S. had once hoped to bring about before it withdrew troops had never materialized.
“How many more, how many more thousands of America’s daughters and sons are you willing to risk?” said Biden, who first announced the planned departure of U.S. forces in April. “How long would you have them stay?”
“It’s up to the Afghans to make decisions about the future of their country,” said the president.
In April, the White House confirmed that U.S. troops had begun the herculean withdrawal process from Afghanistan. On Tuesday, the Pentagon said it had completed more than 90% of the effort.
The update from U.S. Central Command, which oversees America’s military footprint spanning from Northeast Africa to South Asia, came about two months ahead of the deadline Biden had set earlier this year.
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SOURCE: CNBC, Amanda Macias and Christina Wilkie