U.S. & Allies Have Evacuated 95,000 From Afghanistan As Situation Worsens
Over 96,000 people have been evacuated by the U.S. and its allies since last Monday, according to Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor.
Of those roughly 4,500 were U.S. citizens.
President Joe Biden delivered a speech from the White House, speaking directly to critics who claim that his administration did not work quickly enough to evacuate at-risk Afghans. “I know that there are concerns about why we did not begin evacuating Afghans—civilians sooner. Part of the answer is some of the Afghans did not want to leave earlier—still hopeful for their country. And part of it was because the Afghan government and its supporters discouraged us from organizing a mass exodus to avoid triggering, as they said, ‘a crisis of confidence.'”
Biden said the U.S. military is focused on “[getting] our people and our allies to safety as quickly as possible.”
“As we carry out this departure, we have made it clear to the Taliban: If they attack our personnel or disrupt our operation, the U.S. presence will be swift and the response will be swift and forceful. We will defend our people with devastating force if necessary,” Biden said.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) released a statement on Tuesday, saying that the Biden administration could have sped up the evacuations had they worked harder to cut some bureaucratic “red tape.”
“We can get folks out of hell and into Kuwait where we have the capacity to sort them out,” Sasse said. “The Biden Administration is making our people show paperwork to get evacuated, but those papers are a death sentence if the Taliban finds them. The Taliban has check points around the Kabul airport, women and children are begging for their lives outside the wire, and the Biden Administration is worried about getting the right paperwork notarized. It’s morally repugnant.”
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby confirmed that the military will increase the speed of the evacuations from Kabul. “We have the capacity to literally move thousands per day once we get everybody on the ground, all the security troops that we need there,” he said.