WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is slated to address the nation from the White House Monday afternoon following the dramatic fall of the Afghan national government to the Taliban.
Biden’s remarks, scheduled for 3:45 p.m. ET, will be his first since Taliban insurgents seized the presidential palace in the Afghan capital of Kabul over the weekend, a stunning development that marks the apparent end to a 20-year U.S.-led attempt at creating a stable democracy in the country.
The president’s decision to address the nation comes amid mounting criticism of his administration’s handling of the situation and calls for him to break his silence.
Despite being vastly outnumbered by the Afghan military, which has long been assisted by U.S. and NATO coalition forces, the Taliban carried out a succession of shocking battlefield gains in recent weeks.
Taliban advances, spurred in part by the exodus of U.S. and NATO coalition troops, led to Western nations deploying troops to Kabul to evacuate embassies amid the deteriorating security situation.
Many Afghans, desperate to leave the country, crowded on the tarmac at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul as fear gripped the city in the wake of the Taliban takeover.
Last week, Biden told reporters at the White House that he did not regret his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan, a move that would effectively end America’s longest war.
In April, Biden ordered the Pentagon to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, a decision he said was made in lockstep with NATO coalition forces.