Joe Biden announced that the United States has evacuated 13,000 people from Afghanistan since August 14.
oe Biden said on Friday August 20 that he could not guarantee the “final outcome” of the evacuation operation in Kabul , one of the “most difficult in history” after a twenty year long war in Afghanistan.
“This evacuation mission is dangerous . It involves risks for our armed forces and is carried out under difficult conditions, ”said the US president during a speech at the White House.
“I cannot promise what the final outcome will be ,” he admitted, surrounded by his vice president Kamala Harris, his foreign minister Antony Blinken, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin, and his senior security adviser Jake Sullivan. “But as commander-in-chief, I can assure you that I will mobilize all possible means,” he promised.
13,000 people evacuated since August 14
Only the United States is “capable” of carrying out such an operation, among the “most difficult in history”, “on the other side of the world with such precision”, affirmed the American president.
He said the United States had evacuated 13,000 people from Afghanistan since August 14, and 18,000 since July, with thousands more evacuated on private flights “implemented by the US government”.
The president assured that his country was committed to evacuating all Afghans who assisted the United States in their operations in Afghanistan during the war.
The credibility of the US government “not in question”
Joe Biden is under fire from critics over chaotic evacuation scenes in Kabul and accounts of Afghan departing candidates prevented from reaching the airport by Taliban controls.
We “are in constant contact with the Taliban, and we are working to ensure that civilians have safe access to the airport,” said the US president.
He also assured that this chaotic withdrawal did not affect the credibility of the United States on the international scene.
“Our allies in the world are not questioning our credibility,” assured the US president. “I spoke to our NATO allies”, he added, specifying that “in fact it is the opposite”.
Biden informed that the US forces have already airlifted 13,000 people out of the war-torn country since August 14, and 18,000 since July, with thousands more evacuated on private charter flights “facilitated by the US government”. According to the Pentagon, 22,000 Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) candidates would be transferred to the US and accommodate at three military sites. US officials have recognised, however, that this amount may climb and relief organisations and some politicians have called for it to be significantly raised.
Further, the US President dismissed criticism that his administration misjudged the speed with which the Taliban would take over Afghanistan and he was slow to start evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies of the 20-year long US presence there. He said that the US troops at the Kabul airport providing security for the evacuation could stay longer if necessary. Biden is counting on cooperation from the Taliban, which ousted the Kabul government a week ago as US forces withdrew, plunging Biden into his biggest foreign policy crisis.
“This is one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history,” he said in a televised address from the White House. “I cannot promise what the final outcome will be.”
Despite this, he pledged to Americans still trapped in Afghanistan that they will be safely returned to the US.
“Let me be clear: Any American who wants to come home, we will get you home,” he said.
Biden said US forces have airlifted 13,000 people out of Afghanistan since 14 August and 18,000 since July, with thousands more evacuated on private charter flights “facilitated by the US government.”