Biden Says U.S. Troops May Stay in Afghanistan Beyond August 31 Deadline

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about jobs and the economy at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Joe Biden has said US troops may stay past a 31 August deadline so as to evacuate all Americans from Afghanistan, and defended the withdrawal, saying there was no way for the US to pull out “without chaos ensuing”.

As critics in the US and abroad questioned his handling of the withdrawal, the president said in his first on-camera interview since the Taliban took Kabul that troops would stay in the country to get American citizens out.

“If there’s American citizens left, we’re going to stay until we get them all out,” Biden told ABC News, signaling that he would listen to US lawmakers who had pressed him to extend the 31 August deadline he had set for a final pullout.

“We will determine at the time who is left and if they are not out we will stay,” he said, as more of the interview was aired on Thursday morning.

Asked if he thought the handling of the crisis could have gone better, Biden said: “No.”

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SOURCE: The Guardian, Joan E Greve, Julian Borger, and Hannah Ellis-Petersen

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