During a portion of an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, President Joe Biden committed that the U.S. will keep troops in Afghanistan beyond the August 31 deadline if such a step is needed to get Americans out of the country, and that if the evacuation of Afghanistan is not completed by the end of August, the U.S. will see who is left, and if there are “American citizens left, we’re going to stay until we get them all out.”
ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked, “All troops are supposed to be out by August 31, even if Americans and our Afghan allies are still trying to get out, they’re going to leave?”
Biden responded, “We’re going to do everything in our power to get all Americans out and our allies out.”
Stephanopoulos followed up if this means soldiers will stay beyond August 31 if needed.
Biden answered, “It depends on where we are and whether we can get — ramp these numbers up to 5 to 7,000 a day coming out. If that’s the case, they’ll all be out.”
Stephanopoulos then asked Biden if he’s “committed to making sure that the troops stay until every American who wants to be out is out?”
Biden responded, “Yes.”
Stephanopoulos then turned to Afghan allies and asked, “does the commitment hold for them as well?”
Biden said, “The commitment holds to get everyone out that, in fact, we can get out and everyone that should come out. And that’s the objective. That’s what we’re doing now. That’s the path we’re on. And I think we’ll get there.”
Stephanopoulos asked if people should understand that troops might need to stay past August 31.
Biden answered, “No. Americans should understand that we’re going to try to get it done before August 31.”
He added, “If we don’t, we’ll determine at the time who’s left.” And “if there are American — if there [are] American citizens left, we’re going to stay until we get them all out.”
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