President Biden has told Americans stranded in Afghanistan that the government will bring them back to the United States, although he does not know how many Americans remain in the now Taliban-controlled country.
“Be clear, any American who wants to come home, we’ll take you home,” Biden said.
“Make no mistake, this evacuation mission is dangerous and poses risks to our armed forces. And it takes place under difficult circumstances. I cannot promise what the end result will be, nor that it will be without risk of loss. “Biden continued.” But as commander-in-chief, I can assure you that I will mobilize all the necessary resources. “
Biden also said the United States was prepared to use the military to help Americans unable to get to the airport while warning of the potential pitfalls of the U.S. operation and saying it “does not can’t promise what the end result will be “.
BIDEN FINALLY ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT AFGHANISTAN FROM THE JOURNALISTS OF THE WHITE HOUSE AFTER INTENSE PRESSURE
Among the unknowns is where there could be terrorist attacks outside Kabul airport, Biden said. He also noted that his administration is not sure how many Americans actually are in Afghanistan.
The government is working “to verify the number of Americans still in the country while we work on it,” the president said.
“Because we’re not, I don’t know the exact number of people who may have been there and who may have returned to the United States.” Biden added. “We want to get a specific number on the exact number of people present, the number of US citizens and their whereabouts.”
The Pentagon revealed the news Thursday. Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said “I don’t know” how many Americans are left to be evacuated by the military. He said the State Department would have a more specific number. But even that wouldn’t know for sure, Kirby said, because Americans in Afghanistan have no “obligation to register.”
BIDEN DEFENDS THE MANAGEMENT OF AFGHANISTAN’S COVERED WITHDRAWAL, SAYS IT CANNOT GUARANTEE THE RESULT
Biden also defended his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan on Friday, arguing that the outcome could not have been better if US troops had left the country several years ago or years in the future. And he said he wasn’t worried about criticism of how he was handling the withdrawal from Afghanistan, but rather about completing the mission to get Americans out of the country which is now controlled by the Taliban.
“There will be a lot of time to criticize and guess when this operation is over, but now I am focused on doing this job,” he said.
In particular, Biden answered questions from White House reporters for the first time since Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, after two conferences earlier this week in which he failed to do so. The president was asked about several elements of the pullout, including whether the Americans lost their credibility in the world because of the way it was handled.
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“I haven’t seen any questioning of our credibility from our allies around the world,” Biden said. “I spoke with our NATO allies… The point is, I haven’t seen this – in fact it’s the exact opposite that I got. The exact opposite thing is that we are acting diligently, we act, we commit to what we said we would do. “
Fox News’s Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
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