Biden sticking to pullout deadline though lawmakers complain
August 25, 2021
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has decided to stick with his deadline next week for completing the U.S.-led evacuation from Afghanistan, an administration official said Tuesday. The decision reflects a growing fear of extremist attacks at the Kabul airport but also opens Biden to domestic political complaints of caving to Taliban demands and of potentially leaving some Americans and Afghan allies behind.
A Taliban spokesman, speaking prior to word of Biden's decision, said anew that the militant group would oppose any extension of the Aug. 31 deadline. It has allowed the airlift to continue without major interference.
Pressure from U.S. allies, Democratic and Republican lawmakers, veterans groups and refugee organizations has grown for Biden to extend his deadline, which he set well before the Taliban completed its lightning takeover of Afghanistan on Aug. 15. It remains unclear whether the airlift from Kabul's international airport can get out all American citizens and other foreigners by next Tuesday, as well as former translators and other at-risk Afghans who fear for their lives under Taliban rule.