Politics|Biden is acceptable to talk connected the extremity of the warfare successful Afghanistan arsenic the Taliban gains ground.
- July 8, 2021, 8:16 a.m. ET
President Biden volition present remarks Thursday day astir the aboriginal of Afghanistan, his archetypal ceremonial code connected the state since American troops pulled out of the past remaining U.S. subject basal determination past week, efficaciously ending U.S. subject operations aft 2 decades of war.
The departure of American troops has been accompanied by reports of progressively dire situations connected the crushed arsenic section government forces crumble earlier the Taliban, which is gaining territory arsenic it nears Kabul, the capital. In the span of conscionable implicit 2 months, the Taliban person managed to prehend astatine slightest 150 of Afghanistan’s 421 districts.
Questioned connected Friday astir the risks of the accelerated pullout to the stableness of the Afghan government, Mr. Biden said: “Look, we were successful that warfare for 20 years. Twenty years.” He added, “The Afghans are going to person to beryllium capable to bash it themselves with the aerial unit they have.”
But pressed to elaborate, the president chopped the newsman off, saying, “I privation to speech astir blessed things.”
Mr. Biden’s remarks connected Thursday volition travel a greeting gathering wherever his nationalist information squad volition update him connected the advancement of the withdrawal. Vice President Kamala Harris is besides expected to attend.
In an interrogation connected Fox News connected Wednesday, John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said that the Biden medication continued to “push for a negotiated peaceful, governmental settlement,” portion adding that the Pentagon inactive had the quality to enactment Afghan forces adjacent without a ceremonial beingness successful the country.
“We are each acrophobic astir the information concern the ground,” Mr. Kirby said. “There’s nary question astir that.”
Mr. Biden announced successful April that the subject would implicit its withdrawal of the 3,500 troops near successful Afghanistan by Sept. 11. The pullout went faster than galore had expected. On Friday, the U.S. exit from Bagram Air Base, a cardinal hub, efficaciously ended large subject operations, but the White House authorized the Pentagon to slow the last stages of the withdrawal.
Only 650 troops are expected to stay successful the state to support the U.S. Embassy successful Kabul and Kabul International Airport. But officials person said that the Pentagon would beryllium authorized, astatine slightest done September, to move 300 further troops into Afghanistan if needed for information oregon emergencies, similar the imaginable evacuation of the American Embassy, a increasing interest amid the deteriorating information successful the country.
Air enactment for the Afghan forces and overhead surveillance tin besides beryllium flown successful from American bases successful Qatar oregon the United Arab Emirates, oregon from an craft bearer successful the Arabian Sea. But it is unclear however agelong the United States volition support that benignant of support.
As the Taliban consolidates powerfulness successful Afghanistan, the menace to American allies who stay successful the state grows. Senior officials person said that the Biden medication is preparing to relocate thousands of Afghan interpreters, drivers and others who worked with American forces to different countries successful an effort to support them harmless portion they use for introduction to the United States.
In his speech, Mr. Biden is expected to interaction connected plans for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, an contented that came up past week erstwhile Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, visited the White House. The Biden medication has committed $266 cardinal successful humanitarian assistance and $3.3 cardinal successful information assistance. It has besides pledged 3 cardinal doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and oxygen supplies, arsenic efforts to code the latest question of the coronavirus person been hampered by warring successful the area.