President Biden spoke to former President George W. Bush on Tuesday ahead of his announcement that he intended to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
“I spoke yesterday with President Bush to inform him of my decision,” Biden said in prepared remarks outlining his plans for the withdrawal.
“While he and I have had many disagreements over policy throughout the years, we’re absolutely united in our respect and support for the valor, the courage and integrity of the women and men in the United States Armed Forces who served, and immensely grateful for the bravery and backbone they have shown through nearly two decades of combat deployments,” he said.
Biden also called former President Obama the day before he announced the decision, the White House said.
Biden says he spoke with former President Bush about plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, and they were "absolutely united" in respect for Americans who served there
"Less one 1 percent of Americans serve in our armed forces. The remaining 99 percent — we owe them." pic.twitter.com/4N9BqoFtT8
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 14, 2021
Biden delivered his remarks in the Treaty Room of the White House, the same room where Bush announced in 2001 the first airstrikes in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.
In arguing for pulling U.S. forces out of Afghanistan and ending America’s longest war, Biden said the events of 9/11 “cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021.”
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