On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden addressed the nation a day after the country withdrew its troops from Afghanistan.
Biden defended the decision to withdraw from Kabul airport by Aug. 31, 2021, although hundreds of US citizens and thousands of Afghan allies remain in Afghanistan, saying, “I was not going to extend this forever war.”
Biden said that the US evacuation effort airlifted 100,000 Afghan allies and 5,500 US citizens out of Afghanistan. Around 100 to 200 US citizens remain in Afghanistan and wish to leave, according to Biden, and the US government will continue to help them try to exit. Biden described the US evacuation effort as an “extraordinary success.”
The President also pledged to continue to strike the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K), the group that claimed responsibility for a deadly attack at the Kabul airport last week.
Many lawmakers had called on Biden to extend the Aug. 31 deadline to allow more Americans and Afghans to escape. He said on Tuesday it was not an arbitrary deadline, and that sticking to it was aimed at saving lives.