President Joe Biden said the U.S. is committed to getting every American out of Afghanistan, even if it means potentially extending the mission beyond his Aug. 31 deadline for a total withdrawal. In an interview with ABC News, anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Biden: “We’ve got like 10 to 15,000 Americans in the country right now. Right? And are you committed to making sure that the troops stay until every American who wants to be out is out?” to which Biden replied, “Yes.”
The president did cautioned that his focus is on completing the mission by Aug. 31, but conceded to Stephanopoulos that the mission could take longer. Biden also told Stephanopoulos that in addition to the 10,000 to 15,000 Americans who need to be evacuated, there are between 50,000 and 65,000 Afghans and their families the U.S. also wants to get out. “The commitment holds to get everyone out that, in fact, we can get out and everyone who should come out. And that’s the objective. That’s what we’re doing now. That’s the path we’re on. And I think we’ll get there,” Biden said.
The Biden administration has come under fire for the chaotic situation in Afghanistan as control of the country quickly fell to the Taliban while the deadline for the final U.S. withdrawal approached.