President Biden promises that every American who wants to be removed from Afghanistan. Biden said that all possible resources are being used in the evacuation. Thats what he did in a White House press conference. Biden made that promise while the situation in Kabul is still very chaotic. Biden has been heavily under attack since the fall of Kabul, both left and right.
“Every American who wants to come home we bring home,” Biden told Americans stuck in Afghanistan. But he immediately added: “I cant promise what the final result will be, or that it will be risk-free.”
Biden called the chaotic evacuation “one of the biggest and most difficult rescue operations in history.” But the president also assured, “The only country that can do this is America.” All resources are deployed, he assured. Again, Biden did not regret the withdrawal decision. “Theres still a lot of time for criticism when this operation is over.”
Biden admitted that last week had been “heartbreaking”. He said he was touched by the images of chaos from Kabul. “I dont think anyone can see that images and cant feel any pain in it.” But for now only one thing counts, he said. “I am fully focused on getting this job done.”
But the situation on the ground in Kabul contrasts sharply with the beautiful words of Biden. Before his speech, no aircraft had left Kabul Airport for eight hours. Qatar didnt want to take refugees anymore. Moreover, people cant come to the airport because theyre being stopped by Taliban. According to Biden, Americans get free passage with their passports, but eyewitnesses on the spot report that this is not true in practice.
Biden hinted that more than one hundred and sixty Americans had been picked up from outside the airport by US troops. The White House was more criticized for British and French soldiers picked up fellow countrymen to take to Kabul Airport, while Americans did not. The Pentagon said it didnt have the manpower for this earlier. Its not clear if more of these types of pick-up are planned.
It was striking that Biden couldnt tell how many Americans are in Afghanistan right now. That also makes it impossible to properly determine when all Americans were picked up. Biden still says he wants to be gone by August 31.
Other NATO countries previously asked Biden to keep the airport open for longer, but Biden did not clarify that. Biden did say that in consultation with British Prime Minister Johnson and German Chancellor Merkel, he decided that the G7 will come together next week to talk about Afghanistan.
Biden clearly promised for the first time that America would also want to evacuate all Afghans who helped them. Previously, he was evasive about this. Biden said earlier that it concerns fifty thousand to sixty-five thousand Afghans.