Biden declares end to 'forever wars' in Afghan exit

Speaking in the ornate State Dining Room of the White House, Biden thumped the lectern as he detailed the extraordinary costs of a war - more than 2,400 US military deaths and up to US$2.3 trillion spent - that ended with the Taliban guerrillas back in power."I take responsibility for the decision," he said. "I made a commitment to the American people that I would end this war. Today, I honoured that commitment. It was time to be honest," he said. "After 20 years in Afghanistan I refused to send another generation of America's sons and daughters to fight a war." BIDEN TAKES HEAT Following two weeks of evacuation flights - a titanic effort marred by a suicide bombing that killed 13 US service members and scores of Afghans - Biden faces a chorus of criticism that could yet hurt him domestically. Getting out of the last big post-9/11 war was one of Biden's campaign promises coming into office. The idea was overwhelmingly popular. But the US departure, culminating with a solitary airplane lifting at midnight from Kabul with the last troops and diplomats, brought home for many that the so-called "drawdown" or "retrograde" really amounted to jarring defeat. Republicans, led by Biden's bitter predecessor Donald Trump, paint the exit as a humiliating failure, a defeat that outdoes even the 1975 evacuation from Saigon, and a signal to the world that the United States has given up. "President Biden just said his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan was an 'extraordinary success,'" the Republican Party in the House of Representatives tweeted. "Thirteen service members were killed in action. HUNDREDS of Americans were left abandoned. BILLIONS of dollars in US military equipment is now in the hands of the Taliban."

Biden declares end to 'forever wars' in Afghan exit

Speaking in the ornate State Dining Room of the White House, Biden thumped the lectern as he detailed the extraordinary costs of a war - more than 2,400 US military deaths and up to US$2.3 trillion spent - that ended with the Taliban guerrillas back in power.

"I take responsibility for the decision," he said.

"I made a commitment to the American people that I would end this war. Today, I honoured that commitment. It was time to be honest," he said.

"After 20 years in Afghanistan I refused to send another generation of America's sons and daughters to fight a war."

BIDEN TAKES HEAT

Following two weeks of evacuation flights - a titanic effort marred by a suicide bombing that killed 13 US service members and scores of Afghans - Biden faces a chorus of criticism that could yet hurt him domestically.

Getting out of the last big post-9/11 war was one of Biden's campaign promises coming into office. The idea was overwhelmingly popular.

But the US departure, culminating with a solitary airplane lifting at midnight from Kabul with the last troops and diplomats, brought home for many that the so-called "drawdown" or "retrograde" really amounted to jarring defeat.

Republicans, led by Biden's bitter predecessor Donald Trump, paint the exit as a humiliating failure, a defeat that outdoes even the 1975 evacuation from Saigon, and a signal to the world that the United States has given up.

"President Biden just said his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan was an 'extraordinary success,'" the Republican Party in the House of Representatives tweeted.

"Thirteen service members were killed in action. HUNDREDS of Americans were left abandoned. BILLIONS of dollars in US military equipment is now in the hands of the Taliban."