WASHINGTON — Striking a defiant tone, President Joe Biden said Monday that he stands “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan and that the Afghan government’s collapse was quicker than anticipated.

Biden said he was faced with a choice between sticking to a previously negotiated agreement to withdraw U.S. troops this year or sending thousands more service members back into Afghanistan for a “third decade” of war.

Biden said he will not repeat mistakes of the past and did not regret his decision to proceed with the withdrawal.

“I stand squarely behind my decision,” Biden said in a televised address to the nation from the White House East Room. “After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.”

Biden said he’d rather take the criticism over the fallout in Afghanistan than leave the decision to another president. He said the decision to leave Afghanistan is “the right one for America.”

READ MORE: What's in the infrastructure package for New Jersey?

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure package approved by the Senate would provide New Jersey around $12.4 billion in guaranteed spending, with some categories of spending to be allocated later and opportunities to seek billions more in funding through a variety of programs.

Most wanted in Hunterdon County

The Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office has created a list of their 21 most wanted fugitives.

Most Expensive House For Sale in Ocean County

Located on East Avenue in Bay Head, the eight bedroom, nine bath home is listed at $11.9 million. The property has a pool, hot tub, a covered porch and direct access to the beach. The home also has three balconies overlooking the ocean, including one off of the master bedroom. Property taxes for the home were $51,899.