The United States can maintain a military presence in Afghanistan until all Americans have been evacuated, even beyond the August 31 withdrawal deadline, President Joe Biden revealed on Wednesday.
Biden, who gave an interview on Wednesday to ABC News, said the US will “do everything in its power” to get the Americans and allies out of Afghanistan before Aug. 31.
But when pressed on how the government would act if, on that date fixed for the Americans’ military withdrawal, there were still US citizens in that country, Biden assured that the military presence will “stay until everyone leaves”.
The head of state also denied criticism that the United States should have done more in planning for the evacuation and withdrawal, which was marred by scenes of violence and chaos as thousands tried to flee the Taliban.
According to Biden, there was no way for the US to withdraw from Afghanistan without unleashing “chaos”.
“The idea that there could be a way to escape without causing chaos, I don’t know how that could have happened,” he also revealed in the interview.
The US President became defensive when the interviewer, George Stephanopoulos, reminded him of images of “hundreds of people huddled in a C-17 plane” and “Afghans falling” from another US aircraft moving out of Kabul.
Joe Biden pointed out that these were images from “four, five days ago”, although these two cases referred to by the journalist took place on Monday, two days before the interview.
Joe Biden also admitted that his government is struggling to remove the Afghans who helped US troops and military during the conflict from the country, despite the Taliban having promised passage of these civilians to the airport.
Up to 15,000 Americans remained in Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country over the weekend.
The Taliban conquered Kabul on Sunday, culminating an offensive that began in May, when the withdrawal of US and NATO military forces began.
International forces have been in the country since 2001, as part of the offensive led by the United States against the extremist regime (1996-2001), which welcomed in its territory the leader of al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, mainly responsible for the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.
The seizure of the capital ends a 20-year foreign military presence in Afghanistan by the United States and its NATO allies, including Portugal.
Faced with the brutality and radical interpretation of Islam that marked the previous regime, the Taliban have assured Afghans that “life, property and honor” will be respected and that women will be able to study and work.
Source: with Agencies