The US Vice President Joe Biden stated that the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan would be completed by August 31. In a speech on Monday, he said that the sooner the withdrawal is finished, the better.
Biden acknowledged in late-afternoon comments at the White House that the mission’s success would be dependent in large part on Taliban assistance. He said he’s ordered military commanders to prepare contingency plans in case it’s necessary to “change that timeline.”
“We are presently on track to complete the project by August 31. I am adamant about completing our goal “Biden stated in a speech that was hours late.
Nonetheless, he said that achieving that deadline “depends on the Taliban continuing to cooperate and allowing those transferring out access to the airport with no interruptions to our operation.”
Biden said, “The sooner we finish, the better.” “Our soldiers face increased danger with each day of operations.”
Earlier in the day, Biden explained his decision to adhere to the end-of-month deadline in crisis negotiations with the Group of 7, citing continuing security concerns as a major factor.
He described a “acute” danger of assault from an ISIS branch operating in Afghanistan in his comments, saying, “It is a precarious position.”
Biden’s foreign colleagues arrived to the G7 conference in the morning prepared to put pressure on him to prolong the deadline, claiming that more time is required to evacuate their people and at-risk Afghans who helped with the war effort. However, given the dangers that American soldiers would face in September, Biden made it plain that he wants the airlift completed by the end of the month.
While the Pentagon has expressed confidence that all remaining Americans in the nation would be evacuated by next week, it is less apparent if it will be able to help the thousands of Afghans who aided the war effort and are now waiting to depart.
“That would be true once we withdrew and whenever the Taliban seized control,” a senior administration official told CNN.
The 70,000 individuals evacuated in the past ten days, according to the source, do not nearly match the universe of Afghan allies entitled to travel to the US, which Biden previously estimated at 50,000 to 65,000. Among the 70,000 people evacuated, some groups of Afghan supporters were given priority by the US’ European allies. Furthermore, some of individuals who have been evacuated have yet to apply for Special Immigrant Visa status, but they will in Qatar or Kuwait.
The source refused to speculate on the number of Americans remaining in Afghanistan, referring to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, but said the number on August 14 was “probably fewer than most people think” since “a lot departed in the last few weeks.”
The evacuation attempt is picking up speed.
The G7 crisis meetings took place as the Afghan evacuation operation gained traction, significantly outpacing the administration’s original daily targets. On Tuesday, Biden said that 12,000 individuals had been evacuated from Kabul in the previous 12 hours, including 6,400 on 19 distinct US military aircraft and 5,600 on 31 other coalition flights.
The military has boosted the frequency of aircraft out of Kabul to one every 45 minutes, according to the Pentagon.
Since August 14, US initiatives have enabled the evacuation of roughly 70,700 individuals, according to the White House. According to the Pentagon, about 1,000 Afghans have landed at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, DC, in the past 24 hours.
Other nations have been able to evacuate their people because to the enormous logistical effort by the US military, which seized control of part of Kabul’s international airport, including air traffic control, in the wake of the Taliban takeover. It’s uncertain if people from any nation will be allowed to escape if the US withdraws.
According to a source familiar with the conversation, European allies of the US emphasized during the discussions that they wanted to guarantee that any potential of a deadline extension was examined by the US.
Biden stated the danger of an attack is “extremely high” when arguing for departing at the end of the month, according to an administration official.
Despite the significantly increased flights, some of Biden’s advisors are concerned about the safety of US soldiers and the possibility of ISIS or Taliban retaliation if they remain beyond August 31. Taliban representatives have said that the deadline is definite, and that American forces staying beyond that date would be a “clear breach” of their agreement with the US.
If the US stays beyond August 31, the Taliban has made it plain that “our leadership will take appropriate and necessary decision(s),” according to spokesperson Sohail Shaheen.
“They have set a deadline of August 31,” the Taliban spokesperson stated. “By this day, the US must have removed all soldiers from Afghanistan. It will be an obvious violation otherwise.”
The government has continued to meet with the Taliban on a regular basis to address security issues, including the end-of-month deadline. According to top administration sources, CIA Director Bill Burns went to Afghanistan this week to meet with Taliban commander Abdul Ghani Baradar. The US is seeking a better grasp of the Taliban’s position on a number of issues as the deadline approaches.
Burns, a career diplomat, is the highest-ranking US official to meet with Taliban commanders in person since the civilian government of Afghanistan fell on August 15.
Some members of the President’s national security staff cautioned against an extension before of the G7 meeting on Tuesday, citing the accelerated flights out of the country.
According to one official familiar with the situation, any extension would have been very brief and focused solely on evacuating Americans.
The G7 countries are pressuring the US to extend its stay beyond August 31.
The G7 convened an emergency meeting this week in response to the chaos in Kabul, where tens of thousands of foreign nationals and Afghan civilians who helped in the war effort are urgently attempting to flee.
Britain and France, in particular, pressed Biden to keep troops in the nation for a few more days, claiming that doing so would enable him to stick to his initial 9/11 pullout deadline.
Even some US Democrats agree; House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff came out of a secret meeting with intelligence officials on Monday gloomy about the Biden administration’s aim of withdrawing all Americans and allies from Afghanistan by August 31, calling it “extremely improbable.”
“It’s difficult for me to believe all of that can be done between now and the end of the month,” Schiff said, adding that he was concerned about the airport’s terror danger.
On Tuesday morning, another all-member House briefing on Afghanistan was planned. Members of Biden’s national security team briefed legislators, including the Secretaries of State and Defense.
Following the meeting, legislators from both parties claimed they pushed authorities to extend the deadline of August 31.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a Michigan Democrat, stated, “There was significant, bipartisan support to extend the August 31 deadline.” “That was a big topic, a major remark, a major point we all sought to make, asking them to do more to lobby the President to extend the deadline,” she said.
Western sources familiar with the plans told CNN that G7 delegates intended to debate whether or not to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan’s government on Tuesday. Any decision on whether or not to recognize the Taliban would have far-reaching implications, officials warned, and might be used as leverage to force the organization to respect human rights.
According to western sources, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who hosted the conference as the current G7 president, is pushing for an united strategy against the Taliban. He wants the world’s major democracies to devise a strategy for recognizing the government, as well as imposing economic penalties or withholding assistance.
So yet, no country has recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate government. As a result, the nation may be able to receive already pledged foreign assistance.