The Biden Administration ordered a temporary troop surge to evacuate embassy staff and remaining American citizens from Afghanistan on Saturday. Biden redeployed thousands of US soldiers to Kabul to assist with emergency evacuation efforts.
Following the end of a two-decade long mandate in Afghanistan, the rapid advances by the Taliban in several provincial capitals, forced Biden to change plans. Instead of wrapping up a withdrawal, the Pentagon is sending 5,000 troops to Afghanistan to evacuate American diplomats and other civilians.
Biden previously claimed that "the likelihood there's going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely."
GOP House Minority Leader expressed "deep concerns" with what he calls a "bungled withdrawal." He compared the ongoing situation to the "failed withdrawal" from Iraq.
"It is an embarrassment to our nation," he tweeted.
When pressed on reaching a "negotiated political settlement" in Afghanistan, Psaki said the Taliban "has to make an assessment on what they want their role to be in the international community."
The acceleration of the "unconditional withdrawal" from Afghanistan, initially scheduled for the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that prompted military intervention, came amid steady Taliban retrenchment throughout the fragile country as the group captures key cities with little resistance.
Per an internal memo obtained by the Washington Post, the US Embassy in Kabul has reportedly been instructed to "destroy items which could be misused in propaganda efforts," including American flags.
"Facilities will provide destruction support between 0830 and 1600 daily until further notice, please take advantage and reduce the amount of sensitive material on the property," the memo stated.
"Please also include items with embassy or agency logos, American flags, or items which could be misused in propaganda efforts."
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