With thousands trying to get into the Kabul airport and thousands still stuck around the country?
The President maybe committing to a extended stay for American troops and other nation’s in Afghanistan …
The United States and other countries operated evacuation flights from Afghanistan into Wednesday, though not all those seeking to leave the country were able to reach Kabul’s international airport. The Taliban erected checkpoints throughout the capital and near the airport’s entrance, beating some Afghans who attempted to cross and intimidating others, according to reports and an eyewitness account.
In one case, a former interpreter for the Australian army was shot by a Taliban fighter as many Afghans crowded at the airport gates….
The Biden administration has repeatedly said that all U.S. troops would be out of Afghanistan by the end of August. But the swift Taliban takeover this week caused a chaotic rush to evacuate foreign nationals and their Afghan allies. Estimates place the number of Americans in Afghanistan between 11,000 and 15,000.
Asked whether some troops might stay beyond the end of the month if necessary to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies, Biden said: “It depends on where they are and whether we can ramp these numbers up to five [thousand] to 7,000 a day coming out. If that’s the case, they’ll all be out.”
“And are you committed to making sure that the troops stay until every American who wants to get out is out?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“Yes. Yes,” Biden replied.
Biden’s response to whether that applied to Afghans appeared more equivocal. He said an estimated 50,000 to 65,000 Afghan allies of the United States — including people who helped U.S. efforts and their families — remain in the country.
“The commitment holds to get everyone out that, in fact, we can get out and everyone who should come out,” he said. “And that’s the objective. That’s what we’re doing now. That’s the path we’re on. And I think we’ll get there.”…
top image….Marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit await a flight to Kabul at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on Aug. 17. (Lt. Mark Andries/AP)
bottom image…Spanish citizens residing in Afghanistan and Afghans board a military plane in Kabul on Wednesday. (Ministry of Defense of Spain/Reuters)