Critics hammered President Joe Biden on Tuesday after he decided against pushing back the deadline to pull out U.S. forces from Afghanistan as the United States oversees the frenzied evacuation of tens of thousands of personnel, allies, and refugees.
Biden chose to honor the self-imposed timeline after the Taliban threatened the United States with “consequences” for potentially extending it. Biden’s decision ran counter to numerous calls from U.S. lawmakers and Western leaders to stay in Afghanistan until all evacuation operations are completed.
“Can’t believe the Taliban are dictating terms to the President of the United States while tacitly holding 10,000 Americans hostage using American weapons. If only we had some sort of military presence there, say 2,500 troops experiencing zero combat casualties, to prevent this,” Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro tweeted.
“I mean, do you know how much easier all of this would be if we had control of, say, Bagram Airbase? And a large fighting force of anti-Taliban Afghans to prevent terrorist incursions into Kabul, supported by civilian contractors and close air support? Man, if only. If only,” he continued. “So glad the adults are back in charge.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) added: “The world just witnessed the President of the United States take orders from a band of barbaric terrorists while ignoring the pleas of our international allies and American citizens he will leave behind. Joe Biden is a coward.”
“Completely unacceptable,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris never had a plan to get all Americans out, and they need to formulate one immediately. Leaving behind Americans is NOT an option.”
Biden decided against the extension after meeting with the leaders of several U.S. allies at an emergency G7 summit. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the meeting in part to lobby Biden to extend the deadline. Currently, the U.S. controls Kabul’s airport that is facilitating the evacuation plans for numerous countries.
Biden rebuffed U.S. allies and instead kept to the deadline, heading warnings from the Pentagon that staying in the country past August 31 could spark violence after the Taliban’s threats, according to Bloomberg.
The Taliban threatened Biden against moving the deadline over the weekend after the president suggested that he may leave U.S. forces in Kabul to continue evacuating American citizens and allies from Afghanistan.
“It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that. … If the U.S. or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations — the answer is no. Or there would be consequences,” Taliban spokesman Dr. Suhail Shaheen said. “It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation, it will provoke a reaction.”