Joe Biden Updates
Sign up to myFT Daily Digest to be the first to hear about Joe Biden news.
Joe Biden pledged to continue the evacuation of people trying to flee Afghanistan and punish the perpetrators of an attack outside Kabul International Airport that killed at least 12 US troops and dozens of Afghans.
“We won’t let terrorists scare us, we won’t let them stop our mission. We will continue the evacuation,” the US president said in a speech at the White House on Thursday.
Biden said he instructed military commanders to “develop operational plans to attack Isis-K assets, leadership and facilities.” The US would “respond with force and precision” at a time and place of Washington’s discretion, he added.
“We will not forgive. We will not forget. We’ll track you down and make you pay,” he said.
Biden’s comments came on arguably the darkest day of his eight-month-old presidency, when heavy bloodshed exacerbated the chaotic decline in the US military presence in Afghanistan and the attempt to evacuate vulnerable civilians before a deadline to fully withdraw. by August 31.
But the US president defiantly defended his decision to end the 20-year war that had begun in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
“I have never believed that we should sacrifice American lives to try and establish a democratic government in Afghanistan,” he said. “Ladies and gentlemen, it was time to end a 20-year war.”