Washington (IP) - Defending his decision to end its military mission in Afghanistan, US President Joe Biden said that Washington's mission had never been nationalization or building democracy in Afghanistan.

Iran PressAmerica: Speaking on Monday, he warned Taliban leaders they would face "devastating force" should they interfere with the US pullout, according to Reuters.

Biden was forced to send US troop reinforcements to Kabul to ensure a safe withdrawal of American diplomatic personnel and civilians as well as Afghan citizens who worked with the United States and could face reprisals.

The panicked evacuation, coming weeks after Biden predicted the Taliban's takeover in Afghanistan was not inevitable, has dented America's image on the global stage just as Biden has sought to emphasize to world leaders that "America is back" after former President Donald Trump's tumultuous four years.

The pullout has also raised fears that militant groups like al-Qaeda could reconstitute under Taliban rule.

Biden, rejecting harsh criticism of his Afghan policy from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, some former generals, and human rights groups, was resolute in defending his withdrawal from a 20-year war that endured through four presidencies.

"I stand squarely behind my decision," Biden said in a televised speech at the White House. "After 20 years I've learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces."

Biden said he found some of the scenes of chaos in Kabul "gut-wrenching" but that he did not start moving out evacuees sooner because Afghan President Ashraf Ghani did not want a mass exodus.


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