President Biden promised on Friday to bring home any American still trapped in Afghanistan, calling the evacuation effort for Americans and vulnerable Afghans “one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history.” But he acknowledged that he did not know how many Americans were still in the country, or if they could ultimately be brought out safely.
“Let me be clear: Any American who wants to come home, we will get you home,” Mr. Biden said, before adding, “I cannot promise what the final outcome will be, or that it will be without the risk of loss.” In the days since Afghanistan’s government and security forces crumbled into the hands of the Taliban, the Biden administration has faced growing pressure to remove Americans and the thousands of Afghans who assisted in the two-decade war effort.
Mr. Biden’s advisers have resorted to relying on communication with the Taliban to secure safe passage to the airport in Kabul, the Afghan capital, an accord they have conceded is flimsy at best. Though he ultimately gave few concrete answers, Mr. Biden’s remarks were meant to restore a sense of calm to a situation that had caused an international outcry. Mr. Biden said he was moved by “heartbreaking” scenes of desperation at the Kabul airport, the country’s bottlenecked and sole point of departure for the evacuation effort, but he ultimately remained committed to his decision to pull U.S. troops from the country. “Does anybody truly believe that I would not have had to put in significantly more American forces?” Mr. Biden asked reporters at one point.
“Send your sons, your daughters, like my son was sent to Iraq, to maybe die?” Seeking to give a sense of how many people had been flown out of the country in the days since Afghanistan’s collapse, Mr. Biden said some 18,000 people had been airlifted since July. This week, he said, Afghans, including women leaders, and American journalists including staff members of The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal had all been safely removed from the country. Mr. Biden said that he would commit to airlifting Afghans who had been helpful to the 20-year war effort, but that Americans were his first priority.
News Source : WhiteHouse