Biden Reverses Course, Says Troops Will Stay In Afghanistan

( For months now, President Joe Biden and his administration officials have been saying all U.S. troops would be pulled out of Afghanistan by the end of August.

Now, after the Afghan government officially fell and the Taliban has taken the country over, Biden is apparently reversing course.

On Wednesday, the president said that American troops would end up remaining in Afghanistan until every American who wishes to leave the country has been evacuated. He said this would be the case even if it took until after the August 31 deadline that he previously set to withdraw all troops.

In an interview with ABC News, Biden said:

“If there’s American citizens left, we’re going to stay until we get them all out.”

Top government officials have released estimates that show there could be more than 100,000 American citizens who are still in Afghanistan. This comes as the full drawdown of U.S. troops from the country is just about completed.

Still, Biden said the government would do “everything in our power to get all Americans out and our allies out.”

At the same time, Biden told George Stephanopoulos, the host of the interview, that it may not be possible to do it by the August 1 deadline. The president said trying to do that would require the government to significantly increase the number of people who were evacuated via a flight every day.

Stephanopoulos then asked Biden:

“Are you committed to making sure that the troops stay until every American who wants to be out is out?”

Biden quickly responded: “Yes.”

He added:

“Americans should understand that we’re going to try to get it done before August 31.”

In addition to the American citizens who are in Afghanistan, Biden said there are roughly between 50,000 to 65,000 Afghan allies who also want to leave the country now that the Taliban has taken over. That number includes those people’s family members as well.

Getting Afghan nationals out of the country and into safety is a little more complicated than evacuating Americans, though. There’s a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed, and it’s being held up by some logistical issues currently.

First, the individuals need to somehow find their way to the airport in the country’s capital, Kabul. Then, they need to be either evacuated directly to the United States or to another country.

As the U.S. ramped up efforts to withdrawal all troops from Afghanistan over the last few months, the Taliban started to slowly but surely make advances all over the country. That reached its apex this past weekend, when the group stormed Kabul and overtook the Afghanistan government that was backed by the U.S. and other western countries.

Afghanistan’s president even fled the country. He apparently resurfaced in the UAE this week.

Since the fall of the government, the Biden administration has been receiving tons of pressure to help all U.S. personnel and allies from Afghanistan to get out of the country if they want to leave.