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President Joe Biden on Tuesday glossed over his broken promise to keep US troops in Afghanistan until the last Americans were out and offered the low assurance – even with the last US planes leaving – that he will not it’s never too late for American citizens to leave.

“There is no deadline,” Biden said. But with the withdrawal of its forces, the United States finds itself with diplomatic persuasion instead of military force to get the Taliban extremists who have been fighting the United States for 20 years to let the remaining Americans out safely.

BIDEN: “The bottom line: 90% of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave. For the remaining Americans, there is no deadline. We remain committed to getting them out, if they want to get out. Secretary of State Blinken is leading the continued diplomatic efforts to ensure safe passage for any American, Afghan partner or foreign national who wishes to leave Afghanistan. – Remarks from the White House.

THE FACTS: For the record, Biden vowed he would take out 100% of Americans before withdrawing his forces.

And his suggestions on Tuesday that many of the remaining Americans are dual nationals and may be undecided about leaving do not reflect the whole truth.

He claimed that 100-200 Americans are still there and have “some intention to leave,” adding: “Most of those who remain are dual nationals, long-time residents, but decided earlier to stay. because of their family roots in Afghanistan. And White House press secretary Jen Psaki later said that Biden was telling these people that if they decide in two weeks that they want to go, “we’ll get you out.”

But these comments may underestimate the desperation of Americans trapped in Afghanistan. General Frank McKenzie, head of the United States Central Command, said on Monday that the Americans had tried to get to Kabul airport for the latest evacuations, but were unsuccessful. No American was on board the last five jets to depart.

“We kept the option of bringing them in until immediately before the start, but we couldn’t get any Americans out,” he said. “This activity probably ended about 12 hours before our outing, although we continued to raise awareness and would have been prepared to continue them until the very last minute. But none of them made it to the airport and could be – and could have been accommodated. “

Biden unequivocally told ABC News on August 19 that the United States would not leave any Americans stranded.

“The Americans understand that we are going to try to do it before August 31,” Biden said at the time. “If we don’t, we will determine at that point who remains.”

Then? “And if there are any US citizens left, we will stay until we get them all out.”

The last American planes took off from the airport on Monday evening, August 30, one minute before midnight in Kabul.

U.S. officials estimated as many as 200 Americans were left behind, along with an unknown number of Afghans and others frantically trying to leave. By that time, more than 100,000 people, mostly Afghans, had been transported to safety in the multinational evacuations.

Now that it’s become a matter of diplomacy,

U.S. officials said diplomats were in talks with neighboring countries and others to try to organize non-military U.S. evacuations for those who remained. Among the options, if diplomacy works, are potential charter flights from the airport when it reopens and land links.


PA diplomatic writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.


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