Biden to Decide in Less Than 24 Hours Whether Afghanistan Evacuation Will Extend Beyond Aug. 31

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Posted: Aug 23, 2021 11:00 PM
Biden to Decide in Less Than 24 Hours Whether Afghanistan Evacuation Will Extend Beyond Aug. 31

Source: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

President Joe Biden is expected to make a decision Tuesday about whether the efforts to pull U.S. troop from Afghanistan should be extended past his Aug. 31 deadline. 

An official within the administration told Reuters that Biden will make the decision in less than 24 hours to give American troops ample time to prepare.

The U.S. military has increased its urgency to evacuate Americans and allies after the Taliban took over Afghanistan.

And while around 48,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since Aug. 14, the Department of Defense is worried that more time is needed to evacuate remaining individuals.

Thousands of Americans, allied countries' citizens and Afghans civilians who assisted U.S. troops all need to be evacuated from the region, along with approximately 6,000 American troops who were deployed to help with the evacuation effort.

Biden indicated Sunday that the withdrawal mission could be extended, saying during a speech at the White House that "there are discussions going on among us and the military about extending." 

Some advisers, however, are urging the president to maintain the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline due to security concerns.

But two U.S. officials said the expectation is that evacuations from Afghanistan will continue after next week.

U.S. DOD officials said that it would be highly unlikely that the evacuation efforts from Afghanistan does not extend beyond the Aug. 31 deadline, noting concerns about people being able to reach the Kabul airport, violent attacks from terrorists and processing times.

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This comes after a Taliban spokesperson said Monday that there would be "consequences" if the U.S. were to extend its evacuation efforts into September.

"If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations - the answer is no. Or there would be consequences," the spokesperson said. "It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction."

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