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Obama praises Biden's 'bold leadership' on withdrawal

“President Biden has made the right decision in completing the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan,” Obama said in a statement moments after Biden made his first public remarks on the decision.
“After nearly two decades of putting our troops in harm’s way, it is time to recognize that we have accomplished all that we can militarily, and that it’s time to bring our remaining troops home,” Obama said. “I support President Biden’s bold leadership in building our nation at home and restoring our standing around the world.”
The support from Obama carries symbolic weight. When Biden served as Obama’s vice president, he argued ardently to Obama that troops should be drawn down in 2009.
At one point that year, he hand-wrote a memo to Obama arguing for a withdrawal and faxed it to the White House from his Thanksgiving vacation on Nantucket. He made various attempts to argue his case to Obama, who chose instead to surge troops before eventually pulling many of them out.
Biden said Wednesday that the withdrawal will begin on May 1, in line with an agreement President Donald Trump’s administration made with the Taliban. He said the complete withdrawal will be done by September 11. Some US troops will remain to protect American diplomats, though officials declined to provide a precise number.
Biden spoke with two of his predecessors, Obama and former President George W. Bush, separately on Tuesday as he prepared to make the announcement.
“He values their opinions and wanted them both to hear directly from him about his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
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