WASHINGTON (AP) — The Taliban have agreed to allow “safe passage” from Afghanistan for civilians struggling to join a U.S.-directed airlift from the capital, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser said Tuesday, although a timetable for completing the evacuation of Americans, Afghan allies and others has yet to be worked out with the country’s new rulers.
Jake Sullivan acknowledged reports that some civilians were encountering resistance — “being turned away or pushed back or even beaten” — as they tried to reach the Kabul international airport. But he said “very large numbers” were reaching the airport and the problem of the others was being taken up with the Taliban, whose stunningly swift takeover of the country on Sunday plunged the U.S. evacuation effort into chaos, confusion and violence.
The below note went out this afternoon to American citizens requesting to be evacuated from Afghanistan, @alanacbs reports. It instructs people to come to Hamid Karzai Intl Airport in Kabul, but says the US govt cannot guarantee their safety as they make the trip. @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/rgEyjGup4K
— Sara Cook (@saraecook) August 17, 2021
Pentagon officials said that after interruptions on Monday, the airlift was back on track and being accelerated despite weather problems, amid regular communication with Taliban leaders. Additional U.S. troops arrived and more were on the way, with a total of more than 6,000 expected to be involved in securing the airport in coming days.
Related Story: Biden admin depends on Taliban to give Americans ‘safe passage’ 6 weeks after Biden said he doesn’t trust them
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby disclosed that U.S. commanders were speaking with Taliban commanders “multiple times a day” about avoiding conflict at the airport. This suggested that the new rulers of Afghanistan, who swept to power after 20 years of war against the U.S.-supported Kabul government, plan not to disrupt the evacuation. Kirby would not discuss details of the Taliban arrangement, and Sullivan said the question of how much time the Taliban will give the evacuation was still being negotiated.
Biden has said he wants the evacuation completed by Aug. 31. Sullivan declined to say whether that deadline would hold.
Related Story: Biden in 2010 on US Duty to Protect Afghan People – ‘F— That’
Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command and overall commander of U.S. troops in Kabul, made an unannounced visit to the Afghan capital on Tuesday. In a written statement, he said he found that military air traffic controllers and ground handlers were “rapidly scaling up” airlift operations.
McKenzie on Sunday negotiated the safe passage agreement with Taliban leaders in talks held in Doha, Qatar.
“I cautioned them against interference in our evacuation, and made it clear to them that any attack would be met with overwhelming force in the defense of our forces,” McKenzie said. “The protection of U.S. civilians and our partners is my highest priority and we will take all necessary action to ensure a safe and efficient withdrawal.”
At the White House, Sullivan said U.S. officials were engaged in an “hour by hour” process of holding the Taliban to their commitment to allow safe passage for civilians wishing to leave the country. Asked whether the Biden administration recognizes the Taliban as the legitimate rulers of Afghanistan, Sullivan said it was too soon to say and that the Taliban’s record of adhering to international human rights standards “has not been good.”
Overnight at the airport, nine Air Force C-17 transport planes arrived with equipment and about 1,000 troops, and seven C-17s took off with 700-800 civilian evacuees, including 165 Americans, Army Maj. Gen. William Taylor told a Pentagon news conference. The total included Afghans who have applied for Special Immigrant Visas and third-country nationals, he said.
The goal is to ramp up to one evacuation flight per hour by Wednesday, with potentially a total of 5,000 to 9,000 evacuees leaving per day, Taylor and Kirby said. Taylor said that more than 4,000 U.S. troops are now at the airport. That number is expected to top 6,000 in coming days, with airport security to be headed by an 82nd Airborne commander.
SULLIVAN: “We don’t have a complete picture of where every article of defense material has gone, but certainly a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban.” pic.twitter.com/FQmEcajqYS
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 17, 2021
On Monday the airlift had been temporarily suspended when Afghans desperate to escape the country breeched security and rushed onto the tarmac. Seven people died in several incidents.
Kirby, said U.S. commanders at the airport are in direct communication with Taliban commanders outside the airport to avoid security incidents. He indicated this communication was in line with the arrangement that McKenzie worked out with the Taliban on Sunday.
Kirby said there have been no hostile actions by the Taliban, and that several hundred members of the now-defeated Afghan army are at the airport assisting in the evacuation.
Kirby said during television interviews that plans were being made to house up to 22,000 evacuated Afghans and their families at three U.S. Army installations in the continental United States. Those locations are Camp McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Lee, Virginia.
On Monday, a defiant Biden rejected blame for chaotic scenes of Afghans clinging to U.S. military planes in Kabul in a desperate bid to flee their home country after the Taliban’s easy victory over an Afghan military that America and NATO allies had spent two decades trying to build.
Biden called the anguish of trapped Afghan civilians “gut-wrenching” and conceded the Taliban had achieved a much faster takeover of the country than his administration had expected. The U.S. rushed in troops to protect its own evacuating diplomats and others at the Kabul airport.
But the president expressed no second thoughts about his decision to stick by the U.S. commitment, formulated during the Trump administration, to end America’s longest war, no matter what.
“I stand squarely behind my decision” to finally withdraw U.S. combat forces, Biden said, while acknowledging the Afghan collapse played out far more quickly than the most pessimistic public forecasts of his administration. “This did unfold more quickly than we anticipated,” he said.
Despite declaring “the buck stops with me,” Biden placed almost all blame on Afghans for the shockingly rapid Taliban conquest.
Related Story: Intel Agencies Warned of Afghan Collapse as Biden Publicly Downplayed Possibility
At home, it all sparked sharp criticism, even from members of Biden’s own political party, who implored the White House to do more to rescue fleeing Afghans, especially those who had aided the two-decade American military effort.
“We didn’t need to be seeing the scenes that we’re seeing at Kabul airport with our Afghan friends climbing aboard C-17s,” said Rep. Jason Crow, a Colorado Democrat and Iraq and Afghanistan military veteran.
He said that is why he and others called for the evacuations to start months ago. “It could have been done deliberately and methodically,” Crow said. “And we think that that was a missed opportunity.”
Associated Press writers Darlene Superville, Matthew Lee, Eric Tucker and Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington and Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed to this report.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.
“Biden Admin Negotiating With Taliban To ‘Allow Safe Passage’ For Americans To Kabul Airport”
Biden Admin Begs the Taliban 🙁 🙁 🙁 To ‘Allow Safe Passage’ For Americans To Kabul Airport
The debacle in Afghanistan may have been intentional because Joe Biden previously said he thought we should just pull out and didn’t need to be concerned about the allies we left behind. Biden said. “We don’t have to worry about that. We did it in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger got away with it.” So it appeared it was always his intent to just pull out, no matter the cost.
I wonder, how many MILLIONS is being sent to them, to “Guarantee” that?!
Biden admin negotiating with Taliban
I thought the US didn’t negotiate with terrorists. I guess that was before we allowed terrorists in our own congress.
Apparently, that wasn’t “who we are”.
The only negotiations we should be doing are
“OK taliban. EITHER LET OUR PEOPLE come back, OR WE START dropping tactical nukes on EVERY TOWN AND CITY, going from the BORDER, inward. YOu got one day to comply!”
Deciding whether to let in Afghans into the United States is like deciding whether you let in the Bloods or The Crips into your suburban community, just because some worked with you to rat out their fellow gangland baby killing compatriots. When we could not even bring peace, sanity, human rights, law and order into those inner-city Democrat hell holes in 60 years of trying in failed social experimentation, what made us think we could civilize Afghanistan where killing, rape, and oppression is the national sport where other people’s heads become the trophies? I say let not one more into the country, period. We have already absorbed enough to give us social mayhem for the next 20 years here at home. WE THE PEOPLE must demand that our Biden abandonment of American energy which forces the USA to do business overseas with such cultures of violence end immediately, and when we finally leave that hell hole never to return, the Russians and Chinese can take over the burden. The greatest saving of American lives and fortunes rests in our own energy independence. A blind man can see it, and only a corrupt man or party seeking to enrich themselves would deny it. Nation building begins at home with private enterprise, not government mandates and political kickbacks, unless you seek to become good conquering with the sword, Muslims.
PLUS how exactly, are we gong to VET THEM< to ensure they are NOT ISIS/Al Quadea plants??
We are negotiating – with our embassy closed – for safe passage, while China has her embassy open and is negotiating for for mining rights. China will pay the Taliban to mine the metals to sell to us that we need for the “green new deal” that he wants to pass.
We have a president that can hide his own Easter Eggs.
Donald Trump had already negotiated with the Taliban and agreements and understandings were in place if this very situation were to arise but the current administration trashed all that and went their own way without a detailed plan and the the group the administration told us couldn’t, wouldn’t, have the ability to take over the country for quite some time did it in one day! So much for promises made; so much for promises kept. Now the administration is begging froma posture of weakness instead of strength that had been given them by the previous President’s administration. The curtain has fallen for the Biden and Democrat administration. “La commedia é finita!”
Trump should have KNOWN< ANY such negotiations, wouldn't be worth the TOILET PAPER they were printed on.
We allowed the complete fraud and lie of an election to go through. What did anybody expect? We have a completely fraudulent government that is inept and basically senile.
Nobody in the world respects America today. They laugh at our weakness and idiocy. We are nothing more than a large banana republic. We are led by a puppet leader controlled by people in the establishment.
I am disgusted by my own government and by how the people accepted what the democrats did. Traitors. All the democrats and the establishment republicans who allowed this are traitors. We are a joke.
More and more, I AM starting to be ashamed of being a US CITIZEN and a Veteran….
Sharia equals lying to the infidels. Shari lets women be included in our lives as long as they wear a burqa, don’t talk back, cook my food and have sex with me when I want and let me have that 9 year old as my bride.
You mean these negotiations?
Exactly. WHEN the Koran flat out TELLS THEM TO “Lie to infidels is your DUTY”, how on gods green earth, can ANYONE EVER trust a muslim?? ANY MUSLIM?
one thing to cover up another thing and something else to deflect it.
we are weak
we are broke
we are being INVADED by mudslimes and central american trash.
we are white racist
true americans are the enemy of the state.
feel free to add to my list of evil.
Biden Admin Negotiating With Taliban To ‘Allow Safe Passage’ For Americans To Kabul Airport.” What a damned, incompetent, and incapable bunch of fools. What an embarrassment to the integrity, reputation, and military might of the greatest nation on Earth. Idiocy and stupidity on a mega scale. Negotiating with the enemy—against whom we had 20 years to eliminate—to allow us safe evacuations. What brilliance!
“McKenzie on Sunday negotiated the safe passage agreement with Taliban leaders in talks held in Doha, Qatar.
“I cautioned them against interference in our evacuation, and made it clear to them that any attack would be met with overwhelming force in the defense of our forces,” McKenzie said. “The protection of U.S. civilians and our partners is my highest priority and we will take all necessary action to ensure a safe and efficient withdrawal.” Where has all that toughness been for the past 20 years, McKenzie? Gotta make a big show of bravado now that we’re pulling out. Do you really think threatening them now is going to have the slightest impact on their actions?
“On Monday, a defiant Biden rejected blame for chaotic scenes of Afghans clinging to U.S. military planes in Kabul in a desperate bid to flee their home country .” Its all on you, Big Guy—you’re the acting (literally) Commander-In-Chief—you showed your ignorance big time. What an inexcusable disgrace—a humiliating spectacle by any standard.
EW NEED to do more, than just IMPEACH THAT TRAITOR…
Anyone who believes in or trusts anything the Taliban says has some serious rocks in their heads.
“This did unfold more quickly than we anticipated,” he said.
“We” doesn’t include anyone I know. This was easy to see coming.
As soon as i saw the report of “US Troops leave Bagram airbase in the middle of the night”, i KNEW THE INEVITABLE take over was swiftly coming..
All this mess over there must make the muslims on AOC’s squad of traitors very happy. In next years midterm elections, if we don’t purge all the socialists democrats in our government we may just find out that we have lost these United States of America.
Over or under. How long until the Taliban renege on the safe passage “agreement” and start shooting at and killing Americans? Hope to God one of our planes doesn’t get shot down.
The Taliban are liars. Any and all “promises” will be broken. Instead of negotiation, give the Taliban an offer they can’t refuse; “You will let ALL of the people I choose leave peaceably or you will be carpet bombed for not less than a week, day and night.” Be ready and willing to fulfill your side of the offer.
Biden, Austin & Milley are pathetic incompetents.
They remind me of Going to Jackson song paraphrased as follows.
“Those Taliban gonna laugh at you in Afghan
Watch you grovel & beg
They gonna kick you round town
Like beat down hounds
With your tails tucked between your legs.
Yeah, you just try talking big to Taliban
Without your bombs, guns & lead
They’ll be waiting for you in Afghan
With poles on which to mount your heads”.
Miss those down to earth independent self sufficient God & country patriots Johnny & June.
IF those are the ‘best our military has’, we might as well TURN IT all in and surrender to china now…
It’s looking more and more like it’s going to be a re-shoot of the evacuation scene from “Last of the Mohicans”.