Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was silent for several seconds before telling Fox News anchor Bret Baier on Saturday what his regrets are about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

"Do you have any regrets about the Afghan withdrawal?" Baier asked Austin during a keynote discussion at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California.

After a silence that lingered for nearly 10 seconds, Austin replied, "Bret, I regret the fact that we lost 13 of our finest at Abbey Gate. I regret that we lost 10 civilians in an errant strike.

"Having said that, Bret, I want to make sure that we don't lose sight of the fact that our American forces, in 17 days, evacuated 124,000 people from Afghanistan," Austin continued.

The Reagan Forum included remarks by foreign policy experts and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle on Biden's break from the Trump administration’s "America First" strategy — which some officials argue has weakened the standing of the U.S. on the world stage.

Top experts warned at the Reagan Forum that the standing of the U.S. as the "partner of choice" among global allies has waned since the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In August, the Biden administration took major flak at home and abroad when the Taliban swiftly took over Kabul as the U.S. concluded its two-decade presence in the country.

The Reagan Forum comes as China and Russia continue to build up aggressive defenses not seen since World War II.

Experts are concerned that a global power shift could be at play if other world leaders are skeptical about the reliability of the U.S. to act as a strong partner.

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