US President Joe Biden addresses crisis in Afghanistan and evacuation efforts | Latest English News

US President Joe Biden addresses crisis in Afghanistan and evacuation efforts | Latest English News

among the many americans we evacuated there were 169 americans who over the we got over the wall into the airport using military assets we’re also facilitating flights for our allies and our partners and working in close operational coordination with nato on this evacuation for example we provided overwatch for the french convoy bringing hundreds of their people from the french embassy to the airport these operations are going to continue over the coming days before we complete our drawdown we’re going to do everything everything that we can to provide safe evacuation for our afghan allies partners and afghans who who who might be targeted if because of their association with the united states but let me be clear any american who wants to come home we will get you home make no mistake this evacuation mission is dangerous it involves risks to our armed forces and it’s being conducted under difficult circumstances i cannot promise what the final outcome will be or what it will be that it will be without risk of loss but as commander-in-chief i can assure you that i will mobilize every resource necessary and as an american i offer my gratitude to the brave men and women of the u.s armed forces who are carrying out this mission they’re incredible as we continue to work the logistics of evacuation we’re in constant contact with the taliban working to ensure civilians have safe passage to the airport we are particularly focused on our engagements on making sure every american who wants to leave can get to the airport where we have been seeing challenges of americans for for americans we have thus far been able to resolve them we’ve been able we’ve made look and we we’ve made clear to the taliban that any attack any attack on our forces or disruption of our operations at the airport will be met with swift and forceful response we’re also keeping a close watch on any potential terrorist threat at or around the airport including from the isis affiliates in afghanistan who were released from prison when the prisons were emptied and because they are by the way and make everybody understand that the the isis in afghanistan are this have been the sworn enemy of the taliban i’ve said all along we’re going to retain a laser focus on our counter-terrorism mission working in close coordination with our allies and our partners and all those who have an interest in ensuring stability in the region secretary blinken is with me today met this morning with our nato allies in consultation about the way forward so that afghanistan cannot be used as a in the future as a terrorist base of attack to attack the united states or our allies for 20 years afghanistan has been a joint effort with our nato allies we went in together and we’re leaving together and now we’re working together to bring our people and our afghan partners to safety the past few days i’ve also spoken directly with the british prime minister mr johnson chancellor merkel of germany and president macron of france we all agreed that we should convene and we will convene the g7 meeting next week a group of the world’s leading democracies so that together we can coordinate our mutual approach our united approach on afghanistan and moving forward we are united with our closest partners to execute the mission at hand we’ve also discussed the need to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance such as food aid and medical care for refugees who have crossed into neighboring countries to escape the taliban and to bring international pressure on the taliban with respect to the treatment of afghan afghan people overall but including afghan particularly women and girls the past week has been heartbreaking we’ve seen gut-wrenching images of panicked people acting out of sheer desperation you know it’s completely understandable they’re frightened they’re sad uncertain what happens next i don’t think anyone i don’t think any one of us can see these pictures and not feel that pain on a human level now we have a mission a mission to complete in afghanistan it’s an incredibly difficult and dangerous operation for our military we have almost 6 000 of america’s finest fighting men and women at the kabul airport and we’re putting their lives on the line and they’re doing it in a dangerous place to save other americans our afghan allies and citizens of our out our li our allies who went in with us you know i i talk i talk to our commanders on the ground there every single day as i just did a few hours an hour or so ago and i made it clear to them that we’ll get them whatever they need to do the job they’re performing to the highest standard under extraordinarily difficult and dynamic circumstances our nato allies are strongly standing with us their troops keeping century alongside ours in kabul as is the case whenever i deploy our troops into harm’s way i take that responsibility seriously i carry that burden every day just as i did when i was vice president my son was deployed to iraq for a year there’ll be plenty of time to criticize and second guess when this operation is over but now now i’m focused on getting this job done i would ask every american to join me in praying for the women and men risking their lives in the ground in the service of our nation as events evolve over the coming days my team and i will continue to share the information and update the american people on exactly where things are we’ll use every resource necessary to carry out the mission at hand and bring to safety american citizens and our afghan allies this is our focus now and when this is finished we will complete our military withdrawal and finally bring to an end 20 years of american military action in afghanistan thank you may god bless you our troops our diplomats and all those serving in harm’s way and now i’ll take questions ap zeke miller thank you mr president you doubt that your election was ushering in an era where the world can count on america to live up to its promises you promised to leave afghanistan but you also promised not to to help to bring out those who helped america in its war effort we’ve seen these heart-wrenching images at the kabul airport of people trying to get there say nothing of the people who can’t get to that airport you made the commitment to get american troops out to get them get american citizens out will you make the same commitment to those who assisted in the american war effort over the last 20 years number one and then number two what is your message to the america’s partners around the world who have criticized not the withdrawal but the conduct of that withdrawal and made it made them question america’s credibility on the world stage i have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world i’ve spoken with our nato allies we’ve spoken with nato allies the secretary of state our national security advisor has been in contact with his counterparts throughout the world and our allies as has the general or excuse me i keep calling them in general but my secretary of defense the fact of the matter is i have not seen that matter of fact the exact opposite i’ve got the exact opposite thing is we’re acting with dispatch we’re acting committing to what we said we would do look let’s put this thing in perspective here what interest do we have in afghanistan at this point with al qaeda gone we went to afghanistan for the express purpose of getting rid of al qaeda in afghanistan as well as as well as getting osama bin laden and we did imagine just imagine if that attack if bin laden had decided with al-qaeda to launch an attack from yemen would we ever gone to afghanistan would there ever be any reason we’d be in afghanistan controlled by the taliban what is a national interest in the united states in that circumstance we went and did the mission you’ve known my position for a long long time it’s time to end this war the estimates of the cost of this war over the last 20 years range from a minimum one trillion dollars to a think tank at one of the universities saying two trillion that’s somewhere between 150 million dollars a day and 300 million dollars a day the threat from terrorism has metastasized there’s a greater danger from isis and and and and al qaeda and all these affiliates in other countries by far than there is from afghanistan and we’re going to retain on over the horizon capability that if they were to come back to be able to take them out surgically move so this is this is where we should be this is about america leading the world and all our allies have agreed with that and by the way before i made this decision i was at the g7 as well as met with our nato partners and i told them all every one of them knew and agreed with the decision i made to and end and jointly end our involvement in afghanistan the first part of your question was i can’t remember now would you commit to the same commitment would you make the same commitment to bring out athletes who assisted in the war effort yes yes we’re making the same commitment there’s no one more important than bringing american citizens out i acknowledge that but they’re equally important almost as all those who those sivs we call them who in fact helped us there were translators they went in the battle with us they were part of the operation as well as we’re also trying to get out as many ngos non-government organizations women’s organizations etc we’re doing all we can in the meantime uh secretary blinken and i am going to be working with our allies to see to it that we can bring international pressure on the taliban to be they’re looking to gain some legitimacy they’re going to have to figure out how they’re going to maintain that country and there’s going to be harsh conditions where strong conditions we’re going to apply and will depend on whether they get help based on whether or not how and well they treat women and girls how they treat their citizens so this is just beginning in that score are you willing to stay past the 31st to make that happen to bring all the americans out to bring those sids out i think we can get it done by then but we’re going to make that judgment as we go now justin sink or bloomberg mr president um you just said that you would keep a laser focus on counter-terrorism efforts and you don’t see as great of a threat of terrorism from afghanistan as other parts of the world but if you and your administration so badly misassessed how quickly the taliban would sweep through afghanistan and we no longer have an embassy there from which to run intelligence operations how can you at all be confident of your assessment of the risk of terrorism and the ability of the us to conduct over the horizon missions to keep it in check can you tell americans that they’re safe and will remain safe from terror attacks in afghanistan i think you’re comparing apples and oranges one question was whether or not the afghan forces we trained up would stay and fight in their own civil war they had going on no one shouldn’t say no one the consensus was that it was highly unlikely that in 11 days they’d collapse and fall and the leader of afghanistan would flee the country that’s a very different question than whether or not there is the ability to observe whether or not large groups of terrorists begin to accumulate in a particular area in afghanistan to plot against the united states of america that’s why we retained an over the horizon capability to go in and do something about that if that occurs if that occurs but in the meantime we know what’s happened around the world we know what’s happening in terms of what’s going on in other countries where there is the significant rise of terrorist organizations in the middle east in east africa and other places and so the bottom line is we have to do we’re dealing with those terrorist threats from other parts of the world in failed states without permanent military without without permanent military presence there we have to do the same in afghanistan sir just on that initial assessment we we learned over the last 24 hours that there was a descent cable from the state department sure saying that the taliban would come faster through afghanistan can you say why after that cable was issued the u.s didn’t do more to get americans out all kinds of cables all kinds of advice if you notice it range from this group saying that they didn’t say it fall when it would fall when it did fall but saying that it would fall to others saying it wouldn’t happen for a long time and they’d be able to sustain themselves through the end of the year i made the decision the buck stops with me i took the consensus opinion the consensus opinion was that in fact it would not occur if it occurred until later in the year so it was my decision and now my i got my next is stephanie ramos abc thank you mr president two questions for you the military has secured the airport as you mentioned but will you sign off on sending u.s troops into kabul to evacuate americans who haven’t been able to get to the airport safely we have no indication that they haven’t been able to get in kabul through the airport we’ve made an agreement with the with the taliban thus far they’ve allowed them to go through which in their interests are going to go through so we know of no circumstance where american citizens are carrying an american passport are trying to get through to the airport but we will do whatever needs to be done to see to it they get to the airport and one more mr president uh last month my colleague martha raddatz interviewed abdul an interpreter who was on the front lines with us forces in afghanistan overnight we received a photo of taliban militants coming to the door of his home literally hunting him down thankfully he was able to escape but he is obviously still in mortal danger what would be your message to abdul his wife and his three young daughters we want you to be able to get to the airport contact us we’ll see whatever we can do to get you there we’ve got to get you out we are committed to deal with you your wife and your child to get all three of you out of afghanistan that’s the commitment thank you sir meredith lee of pbs newshour you mentioned just now using every resource available for evacuations why haven’t you ordered the military to expand the security perimeter around the kabul airport do you have any plans to do so giving that will likely require more u s troops and are you considering rescue operations to recover americans and afghan allies stuck behind taliban checkpoints the last answer is yes to the last question we’re considering every op every opportunity and every means by which we could get folks to the airport that’s number one number two the reason why we have not gone out and started and set up a perimeter way outside the airport in kabul is that it’s likely to draw an awful lot of unintended consequences in terms of people who in fact are not part of the taliban we’ve been in constant contact with the taliban leadership on the ground in in kabul as well as the taliban leadership at tahoe and we’ve been coordinating what we’re doing that’s why we were able for example how we got all of our embassy personnel out how we got everyone out of the embassy safely that was the distance that’s how we helped get the french out and out of their embassy so the question remains there will be judgments made on the ground by the military commanders at the moment and that i cannot second guess each of those judgments to be made but the idea of again let me let me let me get back to the fundamental point i i made at the outset when the decision was made by me that and it was made some time ago and i ran four presidents saying i wanted to get us out of afghanistan one of the things that is a reality is people now say to me and to others and some many of you say it on air that [Music] why did we have to move because no americans are being attacked why did we withdraw those why do we agree to withdraw 2500 troops no americans have been attacked as i said before the reason they weren’t being attacked was part of an agreement that trump had made a year earlier we will leave by may 1st he said as long as there’s no attack on americans in that year period number one number two the taliban was taking large swaths of the countryside north and south none of the major areas none of the major uh points of the the capitals of each of these provinces but they were all over the all over the country and the idea that if i had said on may the second or third we are not leaving we are stained does anybody truly believe that i would not have had to put in significantly more american forces send your sons your daughters like my son was sent to iraq to maybe die and for what for what so the only rational thing to do in my view was to set up and pre-position american forces for the purpose of evacuation and the aircraft to pre-position those ahead of time so that we would be able to begin the process of evacuation of american citizens sivs and others who helped us the last point i’ll make is this look [Music] if we had decided 15 years ago to leave afghanistan it would have been really difficult if we decided five years ago if we started we continued the war for another decade and tried to leave there’s no way in which you’d be able to leave afghanistan without there being some of what you’re seeing now but what we’ve done so far because i’m able to get a large number of americans out all our personality embassy out and so on and thank god so far knock on wood we’re in a different position scott uh detroit scott npr thank you mr president i just want to follow up on something you said a moment ago you said that there’s no circumstances where american citizens cannot get to the airport that doesn’t really square with the images we’re seeing around the airport with the reporting on the ground from our colleagues who are describing chaos and violence are you saying unequivocally that any american who wants to get to the airport is getting there and getting past the security barrier and to the planes where they want to go start the question was how can they get through to the airport outside the airport and the answer is to the best of our knowledge the taliban checkpoints they are letting through people showing american passports now that’s a different question when they get in the rush and crowd of all the folks just outside the wall near the airport that’s why we had to i guess yet was it yesterday the day before we went over the wall and brought in how many 169 americans so it is a process to try to figure out how we how we um deal with the mad rush of non-americans those who didn’t help those who are not on the priority list just any afghan any afghan to be able to get out of the country and so my guess is that no matter what under what circumstances we anyone there’s not a whole lot of afghanis uh there’s a whole lot of afghanis that just as soon come to america whether they’re any involvement with the united states in the past at all rather than stay under taliban rule or any way and any rule so what i was saying is that we have an agreement that they will let pass through the checkpoints that they the taliban control and put americans through but given this given the negotiations with the taliban the scenes that we’re saying can you just fully explain why the plan wasn’t to go ahead with these evacuations of both americans and allies before the drawdowns began before bagram was closed looking back several months because whether it was now or several months from now there seems to be a broad consensus that the taliban would make these gains and this would be needed at some point well yeah at at some point but the point was that although we were in contact with the taliban and doha for this whole period of time that some point wasn’t expected to be the total demise of the afghan national force which was 300 persons let’s assume the afghan national force had continued to fight and and they were surrounding kabul be very different story very different story but the overwhelming consensus was that they this was not they were not going to collapse the afghan forces they were not going to leave they were not going to just abandon and then put down their arms and take off so that’s what’s happened thank you very very [Applause] [Music] why do you much to trust their pledges mr president one more question mr president please [Music]
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US President Joe Biden addresses crisis in Afghanistan and evacuation efforts | Latest English News

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