President Biden trying hard to stick August 31st ‘out’ date…..
Biden admin looking for some props for the amount of people using the evacuation airlift bridge ….
Other countries tries VERY pissed at Biden following Trump’s ‘cut and run’ and back to worrying about America having ‘their back’….
Biden polling numbers still cratering….
And Afghanistan IS moving on….
The White House is trying to regain control of the narrative on Afghanistan by staging more public appearances for President Biden and highlighting the way in which evacuations have ramped up significantly over the past week.
As of Tuesday, Biden had delivered three speeches in five days on the evacuation efforts and twice took questions from reporters. White House press briefings restarted this week following a brief hiatus, with national security adviser Jake Sullivan appearing alongside press secretary Jen Psakion Monday. Senior officials have also been dispatched to appear on leading cable news programs.
Daily and sometimes twice daily, the White House has sent updates to reporters on the numbers of individuals evacuated from Afghanistan, with the highest tally in a 24-hour period recorded Monday as U.S. military flights transported 12,700 people out. All of this comes in addition to regular State Department and Pentagon briefings during which officials offer updates on the evacuation effort….
U.S. and allied planes have flown an additional 19,200 people out of Kabul in the past 24 hours, officials said on Wednesday, as the Biden administration makes substantial inroads into getting American citizens and Afghans who worked for the United States over the last 20 years out of Afghanistan.
But thousands of U.S. citizens are believed to still be in the country, and President Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline for the withdrawal of American troops is rapidly approaching. Tens of thousands of Afghans who qualify for special immigration visas are also waiting to be evacuated.
As of 3 a.m. in Washington, the United States had evacuated about 82,300 people from Kabul’s international airport since Aug. 14.
Experts estimate that hundreds of thousands of Afghans will be targeted by the Taliban if they stay, including Afghan security forces, government officials, women’s rights advocates and other defenders of democracy. Those Afghans are desperately hoping to join the U.S. military’s airlift before it begins to wind down, potentially as soon as this weekend.
It is not clear how many people want to be evacuated — or can be — by next week’s deadline. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken is set to release more details about the effort, potentially including the numbers of Americans who remain in Afghanistan, on Wednesday.
Though Mr. Biden has vowed to stick to the Aug. 31 exit plan, as the Taliban have demanded, he also has instructed Mr. Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin to draw up plans to push back the date if necessary.
The Taliban have warned of potential reprisals should the United States renege on its deadline, and Mr. Biden on Tuesday noted the danger to American troops should they remain much longer. Beyond the Taliban, extremists affiliated with the Islamic State are also believed to pose a threat to the evacuation effort that has drawn crowds of people to Kabul’s airport gates, clamoring to be allowed on one of the flights that are departing every 45 minutes.
“I’m determined to ensure that we complete our mission,” Mr. Biden said at the White House on Tuesday. “I’m also mindful of the increasing risks that I’ve been briefed on and the need to factor those risks in. There are real and significant challenges that we also have to take into consideration.”….
The Americans are all but gone, the Afghan government has collapsed and the Taliban now rule the streets of Kabul. Overnight, millions of Kabul residents have been left to navigate an uncertain transition after 20 years of U.S.-backed rule.
Government services are largely unavailable. Residents are struggling to lead their daily lives in an ecconomy that, propped up for the past generation by American aid, is now in free fall. Banks are closed, cash is growing scarce, and food prices are rising.
Yet relative calm has reigned over Kabul, the capital, in sharp contrast to the chaos at its airport. Many residents are hiding in their homes or venturing out only cautiously to see what life might be like under their new rulers…..
U.S. officials say they believe that thousands of Americans remain in Afghanistan, including some far beyond Kabul, without a safe or fast way to get to the airport. Tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for the U.S. government over the past 20 years, and are eligible for special visas, are desperate to leave.
Refugee and resettlement experts estimate that at least 300,000 Afghans are in imminent danger of being targeted by the Taliban for associating with Americans and U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
But administration officials say the numbers are continually changing, especially since other countries have their own evacuation operations….
A Defense Department official said that of the 5,800 Marines and soldiers at the airport, about 300 who were considered not essential to the evacuation operation had left the country.
Mr. Biden has left the door open to maintaining the U.S. military presence — now at 5,800 Marines and soldiers — at the airport beyond the deadline. But he does not want to do so, administration officials said, and the Taliban has warned of “consequences” if the United States military stays beyond the deadline.
The Pentagon will probably add additional military bases in the United States to provide temporary housing for Afghan refugees, the Pentagon press secretary, John F. Kirby, said. Discussing the evacuations, he said, “our plan is to continue this pace as aggressively as we can.”
Still, bottlenecks at the airport and at the bases around the world where the people are being temporarily housed could stand in the way, officials said. In particular, they pointed to the bureaucratic process of vetting people….
Two members of Congress secretly flew to Kabul without authorization on Tuesday to witness the frenzied evacuation of Americans and Afghans, infuriating Biden administration officials and prompting Speaker Nancy Pelosi to urge other lawmakers not to follow their example.
The two members — Representatives Seth Moulton, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Peter Meijer, Republican of Michigan, both veterans — said in a statement that the purpose of their trip was “to provide oversight on the executive branch.” Both lawmakers have blistered the Biden administration in recent weeks, accusing top officials of dragging their feet on evacuating American citizens and Afghan allies….
The French evacuation operation from Kabul airport will “very [probably]” end on Thursday, days before the August 31 date set for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, European Affairs Minister Clément Beaune told broadcaster CNews on Wednesday.
About 2,000 Afghans have been evacuated to France since the start of the operation on August 16, as well as over 100 French citizens. A “few dozen” French citizens remain in Afghanistan, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said….
Following the final evacuation of foreign nationals and Afghan refugees, the 1,000 British soldiers still in the country need to make it out. A senior government official told the Guardian that thousands of at-risk Afghans will be left behind….