President Biden, who faces fierce criticism over chaotic pressure to get Americans and Afghan allies out of Afghanistan, will speak about the evacuation efforts Friday afternoon.
The comments, scheduled for 1 p.m., come after days of uproar in and around Hamid Karzai International Airport since the Taliban took Kabul, the Afghan capital. The United States struggles to process evacuee visas quickly, and images of Afghans clinging to departing US military planes are circulating around the world.
As of Thursday afternoon, the US military had evacuated 7,000 Americans, Afghans and others since the Afghan government began to collapse on Saturday, far fewer than the 5,000 to 9,000 passengers a day the military will be able to fly once the evacuation process is complete. at full throttle, officials said.
As many as 6,000 people – including former interpreters and cultural and political advisers – also lined up to leave Kabul airport early Friday.
Biden has said he can extend the August 31 deadline he imposed on the mission if necessary to continue evacuating Americans from the country. But he has defiantly defended his bigger decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, while largely avoiding the chaos of the withdrawal itself.
In his initial comments on the crisis on Monday, Biden argued that he had not previously ordered the evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies in Kabul to avoid panic and “a crisis of confidence” in the Afghan government, which collapsed much earlier than expected. . .
He also put some of the blame on the Afghan allies who “didn’t want to leave sooner, still hopeful for their country”.
In an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Mr. Biden said some ramifications of the withdrawal were inevitable.
“The idea that there’s somehow a way out without causing chaos — I don’t know why,” Biden said.