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Biden defends Afghanistan pullout in exchange with reporters at 9/11 memorial

US President Joe Biden, speaking unexpectedly during a visit to the Pennsylvania site of one of the 9/11 plane crashes, again defends the widely criticized withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying that the US could not “invade” every country where al-Qaeda is present.

“Could al-Qaeda come back [in Afghanistan]?” he asks in an exchange with reporters outside a Shanksville fire station. “Yeah. But guess what, it’s already back other places.”

“What’s the strategy? Every place where al-Qaeda is, we’re going to invade and have troops stay in? C’mon.”

Biden says thay it had always been a mistake to think Afghanistan could be meaningfully united.

Biden says that American forces had achieved their central mission when a special forces team killed al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in a compound in Pakistan.

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