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Analysis: How has Biden's handling of Afghanistan gone down in the US?

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By euronews
US soldiers stand guard behind barbed wire near Kabul airport, 20 August 2021
US soldiers stand guard behind barbed wire near Kabul airport, 20 August 2021   -   Copyright  AFP

US President Joe Biden made a televised address this week to defend his administration's strategy on Afghanistan. 

He said the decision to pull troops out of the country had been "the right one for America".

But there has been criticism that Washington's strategy has handed the Taliban an easy victory and undermined the soldiers killed or maimed on duty in Afghanistan over the last two decades.  

To get an idea of how Biden's words and actions have gone down in the US, Euronews spoke to its stateside reporter Ray Suarez. 

"It [Biden's speech] has set off a tremendous argument inside Washington, a lot of score-settling going on because a lot of military and policy circles in Washington were deeply invested in both opposing and supporting the Afghanistan policies through Democratic and Republican administrations," said Suarez. 

"So the knives are out, but really the argument is over two separate things, whether or not to get out and the manner in which we got out. 

"And a lot of people, who are normally supporters of the president, are hitting Joe Biden not for getting out, which they support, but the manner in which we got out.

Will US troops stay in Afghanistan beyond the August 31 deadline?

"I think not in the eventual result," said Suarez. "What you're seeing now is the United States finally finding its feet with this policy, setting up a system by which it's getting people out and now thousands of people per day.

"It's going to put on planes and whisk people out of the country. After a few days of confusion, after a few days of really terrible optics and reporting around the world about a hasty and shambolic US departure, you're now seeing things coming down, a system coming in place. 

"You won't see American troops in Afghanistan, it looks like -- and that's what the administration is saying -- for long after August 31. 

"Basically, what you're seeing now is a system coming in place for getting American allies, friends and US nationals who are trapped in the country out safely."