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President Biden keeps Afghanistan withdrawal deadline

Image courtesy of The White House

President Joe Biden will not extend the withdrawal from Afghanistan past the end of August.  Many, including U.S. allies, are not pleased.

Mississippi Congressman Michael Guest said, “President Biden’s decision not to extend the August 31st withdrawal deadline should be seen as nothing less than capitulation to the Taliban. It is a politically motivated decision that places the lives of Americans and our Afghan allies in danger. There will be long-lasting repercussions, and Americans will be less safe because of his decision.”

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to the President urging him to use every available resource to secure the safe evacuation of American citizens and partners from Afghanistan.

The letter follows reports that the Taliban would not accept an American presence in Kabul beyond August 31st and that Afghan citizens would not be allowed to enter the airport in Kabul where evacuation operations are taking place.

“Like many Americans, I urge you not to allow the Taliban to set the timetable for evacuations.  The United States should not answer to terrorists, and it is deeply troubling that the terms of U.S. evacuations are being set by the Taliban,” Wicker wrote in the letter.

Wicker also called on the President to uphold his vow to get Americans and Afghan allies out.

“I implore you to use all means necessary — including military force outside the Kabul airport — to ensure these persons are brought out safely,” Wicker said.

You can read the full letter to President Biden below:


Dear Mr. President:

At this critical juncture in our withdrawal from Afghanistan, I urge you to use every available resource to secure the safe evacuation of every American citizen and Afghan partner.  You have vowed, “Any American who wants to come home, we will get you home.”  Although this statement was encouraging, it is contradicted by your recommitment to an arbitrary withdrawal deadline of August 31.  Since August 14, about 5,000 Americans have been evacuated, but as many as 10,000 reportedly still remain.  These Americans and our allies must be located, transported to the Kabul airport, and flown out of Afghanistan. 

It is my understanding that the senior American military leadership on the ground in Afghanistan have strongly advised that such a military operation is in fact feasible and that they are only awaiting the go-ahead from their Commander-in-Chief.  If this is the case, I urge you to allow our troops to do what they are trained to do.  Failure should not be an option. 

Like many Americans, I urge you not to allow the Taliban to set the timetable for evacuations.  The United States should not answer to terrorists, and it is deeply troubling that the terms of U.S. evacuations are being set by the Taliban.

The sacred oaths that you and I have sworn demand that we do everything in our power to protect these American citizens and friends who are in harm’s way.  Taliban-imposed deadlines should be irrelevant.  I implore you to use all means necessary — including military force outside the Kabul airport — to ensure these persons are brought out safely. 

Sincerely,                                     

Roger F. Wicker

U.S. Senator

 

CC: The Honorable Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense

The Honorable Antony Blinken, Secretary of State

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