[Rushtalk] Biden says 'no one's being killed' in Afghanistan, can't 'recall' advisers telling him to delay withdrawal

Carl Spitzer {C Juno} cwsiv at juno.com
Sun Aug 22 07:49:18 MDT 2021


Published 2 days ago

Biden says 'no one's being killed' in Afghanistan, can't 'recall'
advisers telling him to delay withdrawal

Report says top generals told Biden to leave troops in Afghanistan,
Biden says he doesn't remember

Tyler Olson
By Tyler Olson | Fox News 
      * 
      * August 19 2021
        
American stranded in Afghanistan describes chaos at Kabul airport: ‘It’s
crazy’

Haroon checks back in with ‘Fox & Friends’ as he continues to try to
leave the country.


President Biden in an interview with ABC that aired Thursday said "no
one's being killed" in Afghanistan despite reports of at least seven
deaths amid the chaos at Kabul's airport and of Taliban beating people
on their way to the airport, as he defended his handling of the American
withdrawal from the country. 

Biden further told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that intelligence did not
indicate the Afghan government would quickly collapse – despite reports
that's exactly what the intelligence said. 

And the president said his advisers did not tell him to delay the troop
withdrawal, despite reports that's exactly what his advisers did. 

"Oh, there is," Biden said when asked about "pandemonium" near the
airport by Stephanopoulos. "But, look – but no one's being killed right
now, God forgive me if I'm wrong about that, but no one's being killed
right now."

TALIBAN AND AFGHANISTAN: LIVE UPDATES

Biden added: "People are – we got 1,000-somewhat, 1,200 out, yesterday,
a couple thousand today. And it's increasing. We're gonna get those
people out."

But just two days before the Wednesday interview, seven civilians died
at the Kabul airport, including multiple individuals who were clinging
onto an American jet as it departed, and then fell from the sky. 

Meanwhile, the Taliban has set up several checkpoints around the airport
and according to sources who spoke to Fox News is arbitrarily beating
and denying entry to people who are attempting to get to the airport. 
 

State Department alerts saying that people should go to the airport
simultaneously warn: "THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT ENSURE SAFE
PASSAGE TO THE HAMID KARZAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT."

Nevertheless, Biden asserted to Stephanopoulos that the Taliban is
providing "safe passage for Americans to get out."

Biden also more broadly defended his decision to leave Afghanistan,
including by saying that none of his advisers told him it was a bad idea
to leave the country. 

People try to get into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul,
Afghanistan August 16, 2021. President Biden said that nobody is being
killed in Kabul despite several civilian deaths this week among those
trying to escape Taliban rule. (REUTERS/Stringer)
People try to get into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul,
Afghanistan August 16, 2021. President Biden said that nobody is being
killed in Kabul despite several civilian deaths this week among those
trying to escape Taliban rule. (REUTERS/Stringer) 

 
Stephanopoulos said in his conversation with the president that Biden's
top military advisers wanted about 2,500 troops to remain in
Afghanistan, likely citing a Wall Street Journal report that Gen. Mark
Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned against a full
withdrawal. But Biden said that was not the case. 

"No, they didn't. It was split. That wasn't true. That wasn't true,"
Biden said.

Pressed further on whether his advisers told him to keep troops in
country, Biden added: "No. Not at – not in terms of whether we were
going to get out in a timeframe all troops. They didn't argue against
that."

"So no one told – your military advisors did not tell you, ‘No, we
should just keep 2,500 troops?’" the ABC anchor retorted. 

"No. No one said that to me that I can recall," Biden replied. 

The president also said that intelligence did not indicate Afghanistan
would quickly fold to the Taliban once Americans abandoned their mission
there. 

President Joe Biden speaks about the economy and his infrastructure
agenda in the State Dining Room of the White House, in Washington,
Monday, July 19th, 2021. Biden said he did not remember advisers telling
him to leave troops in Afghanistan, despite reports that is what his
advisers told him. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Joe Biden speaks about the economy and his infrastructure
agenda in the State Dining Room of the White House, in Washington,
Monday, July 19th, 2021. Biden said he did not remember advisers telling
him to leave troops in Afghanistan, despite reports that is what his
advisers told him. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


"If you go back and look at the intelligence reports, they said that
it's more likely to be sometime by the end of the year," Biden said. 

"But you didn't put a timeline on it when you said it was highly
unlikely. You just said flat out, 'It's highly unlikely the Taliban
would take over,'" Stephanopoulos replied. 

"Yeah.," Biden said. "Well, the question was whether or not it – the
idea that the Taliban would take over was premised on the notion that
the, that somehow, the 300,000 troops we had trained and equipped was
gonna just collapse, they were gonna give up. I don't think anybody
anticipated that."

However, NBC News reported that the CIA's worst-case estimate of what
could happen if the U.S. left Afghanistan "was pretty close to what
happened" according to a former official.  

The New York Times reported essentially the same thing, saying that many
intelligence reports questioned whether the Afghan military could stand
up on its own. A July report, according to the Times, forecasted
significant risks to Kabul itself. 

Biden also in the ABC interview said other American allies should not
lose trust in the U.S. despite the fact many who worked with the
American government were abandoned in Afghanistan. The president said
America's commitment to Article 5 of the NATO treaty, South Korea and
Taiwan are significantly different than the nation's commitment to
Afghanistan. 

Evacuations from the Kabul airport are continuing Thursday, with
thousands of troops and even U.S. special operations forces on the
ground.

Fox News' Rich Edson and the Associated Press contributed to this
report. 



https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-no-one-being-killed-in-afghanistan-advisers-withdrawal



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