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BBC Newsnight: President Biden defends US pull-out as Taliban claim victory

01/09/2021

Plays well domestically, but internationally?

September 01,2021

US President Joe Biden has defended his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, a move which led to Taliban militants returning to power. In an address to the US, President Biden said staying longer was not an option, a day after the end of a 20-year US presence in Afghanistan. He praised troops for organising an airlift of more than 120,000 people wishing to flee the Taliban regime. The Islamist militants have been celebrating what they call a victory. US-led troops went into Afghanistan in 2001, ousting the Taliban in the wake of the devastating 9/11 attacks, blamed on al-Qaeda – a militant jihadist group then based in the Asian country. Newsnight’s David Grossman reports. Emily Maitlis is joined by CEO of the Truman Project, Jenna Ben-Yehuda, and Professor of political science at Swathmore College, Dominic Tierney.

Newsnight is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.

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