American News Aug 19, 2021 12:17 PM EST

Biden says US troops may stay in Afghanistan past August 31 deadline

Stephanopoulos asked Biden whether he thought the withdrawal could have been handled better, to which Biden responded "no."

Biden says US troops may stay in Afghanistan past August 31 deadline
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

In a recent interview, President Joe Biden said that United States troops may stay in Afghanistan past the August 31 withdrawal deadline to aid in evacuation all Americans from within the country, saying that there was no way for the US to withdraw from the country "without chaos ensuing."

In an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, Biden defended his administration's handling of the withdrawal, assuring that troops would be starting until all American citizens are out of Afghanistan.

"If there's American citizens left, we're going to stay until we get them all out," Biden told ABC News. "We will determine at the time who is left and if they are not out we will stay."

Stephanopoulos asked Biden whether he thought the withdrawal could have been handled better, to which Biden responded "no."

"We're gonna go back in hindsight and look … but the idea that somehow, there's a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don't know how that happens," said Biden.

Biden one month ago that it was "highly unlikely" that the Taliban would be "over running everything and owning the whole country."

Despite these previous comments, he acknowledged that the intelligence briefings did not bring a consensus and "the intelligence did not [say] back in June or July that it was going to collapse like it did."

According to The Guardian, classified intelligence documents have emerged from he past few weeks that gave the Biden administration multiple warnings about the likelihood of a quick collapse of Afghan troops and the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.

With the Taliban now in control of Afghanistan, thousands of foreign citizens and Afghans have been seen attempting to flee at the airport in Kabul, pleading with soldiers to let them on the evacuating aircraft.

Despite the Taliban turning away those without legal documents to travel, may Afghans and foreigners with passports and papers have been turned away as well, leading to nearly empty aircraft leaving the airport.

The US said that it has evacuated almost 6,000 people from Afghanistan since Saturday, but added that thousands of Americans and many more Afghans remain in the country and fear for their lives amidst slow evacuation efforts.

"If we don't sort this out, we'll literally be condemning people to death," said Marina Kielpinski LeGree, the American head of nonprofit organization Ascend.

Biden told Stephanopoulos that while the Taliban is cooperating in letting Americans get out of the country, "we're having some more difficulty" in evacuating US-aligned Afghan citizens.

"They're cooperating, letting American citizens get out, American personnel get out, embassies get out, et cetera, but they're having … we're having some more difficulty having those who helped us when we were in there," said Biden.

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