President Joe Biden campaigned on his foreign policy expertise. But the crisis in Afghanistan is destroying that image.

White House and administration officials concede the fall of the Afghan government happened much faster than they anticipated, though Democrats stressed that a full-scale takeover by the Taliban was not an inevitability. They argue that America long ago completed its mission of hunting down terrorists and preventing the next 9/11, and that little would have changed in the wind down absent a massive troop surge that neither Biden nor the American people were willing to stomach. The president’s supporters also are trying to reframe the pullout as an act of bravery by a realist who knew there would be political fallout but was unwilling to bear the costs of continued inaction.

In an address Monday, Biden presented that same case, focusing his remarks on the decision to retreat from Afghanistan to save…

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