The Biden Defense Dept. said this week that they “do not have the capability” to rescue Americans who are stuck in Afghanistan and cannot get to the airport and that they will stay there “until the clock runs out,” hinting that the U.S. military will stand by its time frame of leaving Afghanistan by Aug. 31st, regardless of Americans being left behind.
Later Wed., however, during an interview with ABC News, President Biden hinted that troops could stay in Afghanistan past the August 31st date if there are still Americans who are attempting to get out.
The State Dept. also said this week that, based on reports from the capitol city, the Taliban is not following their agreement to allow Americans and their Afghan allies to leave the country. The statement came after a question about a security alert sent this week informing Americans that the U.S. government could not ensure their security if they attempted to go to the Kabul airport.
In a press conference this week, Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin was blunt about his assessment of American abilities, particularly in regard to the up to 15,000 American citizens who are still stuck in Afghanistan, mostly outside of Kabul.
“We don’t have the ability to go out and get large amounts of people,” he said.
That likely leaves any American who cannot get to the airport stranded in Afghanistan. And Austin was also clear that there was an end time for American help, and that they will only help people “until the clock runs out.”
Although Austin was not certain about the “clock” he was mentioning, he is likely talking about Americans following the Biden White House’s plan and completely leaving the country by August 31st.
Americans were told by the State Dept. to go to the airport in a security alert given Wednesday, but it does not seem to say if Americans who get to the airport can get through the Taliban.
According to a CBS reporter there in Kabul, Americans were begging for help, just outside the airport fence, unable to get to the runway.
NEW, video of the North Gate at #hkia via colleague @alanacbs from Americans trying to access the airport. pic.twitter.com/VX3WjHUZ1H
— Ruffini (@EenaRuffini) August 18, 2021
The State Dept. also admitted, in its own media conference that, while there were not any direct fights between American forces and the Taliban, there were “reports” that the Taliban was not abiding by its agreement for allowing safe passage.
.@DeputySecState Wendy Sherman: "We have seen reports that the Taliban, contrary to their public statements and their commitments to our government, are blocking Afghans who wish to leave the country from reaching the airport."
Full video here: https://t.co/uHIdWcobXg pic.twitter.com/xm0yzqg2Rq
— CSPAN (@cspan) August 18, 2021
Author: Steven Sinclaire
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