POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

President Biden stands by deadline for Afghanistan withdrawal

Aug 24, 2021, 11:45 AM | Updated: 4:33 pm
president biden addresses afghanistan deadline...
FILE: US President Joe Biden leaves after speaking about crime prevention, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 23, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Tuesday he will stick with a planned deadline to pull out of Afghanistan by Aug. 31, despite criticism from others who called the plans rushed and chaotic. 

In a speech from the White House, Mr. Biden said each day of delay gives terrorist groups more time to move in. 

“Every day we’re on the ground is another day that we know ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both us and allied forces and innocent civiliants,” President Biden said. 

ISIS-K is the name of the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan branch. According to the Associated Press, they are known for carrying out suicide attacks that target civilians. 

According to the president, security continues to hold at the moment, with cooperation from the Taliban. 

“But it’s a tenuous situation,” he said. “We run a serious risk of it breaking down as time goes on.” 

Mr. Biden sticks with Afghanistan deadline

President Biden long ago set the deadline of next Tuesday for the completion of the Afghanistan withdrawal. Pentagon officials say they can still evacuate all Americans from Afghanistan by that deadline.

However, that does not address the potentially thousands of foreign nationals who remain in Afghanistan, in fear of Taliban retribution for their aid to the United States. That includes people like the brother of an Afghan translator who worked with the US military. The Taliban issued a death warrant naming him, KSL learned this week. 

A Taliban spokesman told reporters in Kabul “we won’t let Afghans be taken out” after the Aug. 31 deadline for the airlift. 

We also cannot say for certain exactly how many Americans remain in Afghanistan. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Republican lawmakers lambasted Mr. Biden for, as they saw it, bowing to the demands of the Taliban. 

“We need to have the top priority to tell the Taliban that we’re going to get all of our people out, regardless of what timeline was initially set,” said Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. and the House Minority Whip. 

Former President Donald Trump originally agreed in negotiations with the Taliban to end the American presence in Afghanistan in May of 2021. President Biden decided to end the war in Afghanistan in April, but extended the initial deadline to Sept. 11, 2021, or 20 years after the terror attacks on the United States that served as a catalyst for our presence in Afghanistan. More recently, he moved that deadline up to Aug. 31. 

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President Biden stands by deadline for Afghanistan withdrawal