US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that there is no deadline for the demobilization of Americans who are still in Afghanistan after the US military withdraws from Afghanistan.
Biden made a public speech for the first time since the withdrawal, calling the evacuation mission “remarkable success” because he was referring to thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Afghans taking off from Kabul on U.S. military or U.S.-assisted flights.
He then turned to an estimated 100 to 200 Americans in a country still controlled by the Taliban, who seemed to bear some responsibility for them.
“Since March, we have contacted Americans in Afghanistan 19 times, issued multiple warnings and offered to help them leave Afghanistan. It goes back to March,” he said in a speech in Washington.
He later added that most of the Americans who stayed behind were dual citizens, “they decided to stay earlier because of family reasons.”
“The most important thing is: 90% of Afghan Americans who want to leave can leave. For the remaining Americans, there is no deadline. If they want to come out, we are still committed to getting them out,” he said.
US officials said that the Taliban terrorist organization has stated that it will let Americans who want to leave the country to leave, and the United States will require them to abide by this commitment.
Biden also stated that the evacuation cannot begin sooner, and the August 31 deadline still exists because senior advisers, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, claim that evacuation is the safest way for the remaining Americans to evacuate.
Biden continued his tendency not to answer questions from reporters on Tuesday. He faced a counterattack from members of Congress, including the Democratic Party, for complying with the deadline.
Shortly before Biden’s speech, Representative Brian Master (R-Fla.) told reporters in Washington: “You must not abandon the Americans in a war zone, let them fend for themselves, and expect our enemies to respect us.” The accusation that the president “of course burned the reputation of the U.S. government.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said that he urged the Biden administration to “re-attack” and postpone the “deadline for arbitrary surrender,” but it was ignored.
“The government must admit that it was wrong. Stop running the victory lap, like an arsonist claiming that he did a good job putting out the fire, when there are still people inside,” he said.
“It is unacceptable to leave any American citizen behind, and I will continue to push this administration to do everything in its power to get our people away,” Senator Mark Kelly (Arizona Democrat) added on Twitter.
However, others praised Biden’s withdrawal.
“Due to President Biden’s leadership, our military contacts in Afghanistan have finally ended,” said Adam Smith (Democrat-Washington), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, in a statement.
Zachary Stieber reports on US news, including political and court cases. He started working as a reporter for the New York City subway in The Epoch Times.