President Joe Biden mentioned Wednesday that US troops will not depart any Americans behind in Afghanistan, even when it means staying in Taliban-controlled Kabul for longer than agreed.
In his first interview because the Taliban seized the Afghan capital, sparking a panicked exodus by foreigners and Afghan allies, Biden advised ABC News that “chaos” had been unavoidable.
US leaders have mentioned they’re sticking to an August 31 deadline for eradicating the final troops and handing over the nation to the victorious Taliban.
However, Biden mentioned for the primary time that US troopers might keep longer if any Americans had been nonetheless making an attempt to flee. “If there are American citizens left, we’re going to stay to get them all out,” Biden mentioned.
The US president didn’t clarify how an extension would work.
The Taliban are presently standing apart as US troops fly in to safe Kabul’s airport and arrange evacuations.
But the militants have full management of the remainder of the town and are basically capable of determine who will get via and who would not, whereas international forces are extremely restricted of their capacity to maneuver safely past the confines of the airport.
Speaking because the small US pressure ramped up the frantic evacuations, Biden advised ABC News there was by no means going to be a simple exit.
“The idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing — I don’t know how that happens,” Biden mentioned.
He added that the Taliban had been presently helping the US forces they’d spent so a few years battling — no less than in serving to international nationals to flee.
“They’re cooperating, letting American citizens get out, American personnel get out, embassies get out, etcetera,” Biden mentioned.
However, “we’re having some more difficulty having those who helped us when we were in there” depart, he mentioned, apparently referring to native Afghans who used to work alongside US and international forces and who now worry retribution.
In the interview, the president rejected criticisms that his administration had suffered an enormous intelligence failure.
“It was a simple choice,” Biden mentioned.
Referring to the close to in a single day collapse of the Western-backed Afghan authorities and military within the face of the advancing Taliban, Biden mentioned he was satisfied the already deliberate US exit needed to proceed.
“The threshold question was, do we commit to leave within the timeframe we set… or do we put significantly more troops in?”
Asked what he’d thought when photos emerged of panicked Afghans swarming airplanes and stowaways falling out of the plane after take-off, Biden mentioned his response was: “We have to gain control of this, we have to move this more quickly. We have to move in a way in which we can take control of that airport. And we did.”
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