Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Monday evening following a meeting with officials from the intelligence community that it was “very unlikely” that the United States was going to have all Americans evacuated from Afghanistan by August 31, the deadline set by President Joe Biden.
“I think it’s very unlikely given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated, the number of SIVs, the number of others who are members of the Afghan press, civil society leaders, women leaders, it’s hard for me to imagine all of that can be accomplished between now and the end of the month,” Schiff told reporters after meeting with intelligence officials. “I am encouraged to see the numbers of people evacuated, increasing readily to the point where we evacuated 11,000 people in a single day. Nonetheless, given the logistical difficulties of moving people to the airport, and the limited number of work arounds, it’s hard for me to see that being fully complete by the end of the month. And I’m certainly of the view that we maintain a military presence as long as it’s necessary to get all U.S. persons out, and to meet our moral and ethical obligation to our Afghan partners.”
Biden said on Sunday that there was “discussions going on among us and the military about extending” the deadline past August 31. The Taliban has stated that they will not accept “additional time to continue evacuations” and that there “would be consequences.”
When asked about the terror threat emanating from inside Afghanistan, Schiff said, “I think the intelligence community has always been very sober about our capacity to detect and deter a terrorism threat from within Afghanistan once we have no military force there, once our military footprint has been reduced to effectively zero.”
When asked about the threat to the airport where airport evacuations are occurring, Schiff said that he was worried about ISIS-K launching an attack.
“I think the threat to the airport is very real and very substantial,” he said. “And this has been a concern of mine for for some days now that this would make a very attractive target for ISIS-K or for elements of Al-Qaeda, but most particularly ISIS-K, an opportunity to attack both the U.S. forces as well as Afghan nationals, and indeed, the Taliban as well, and just cause chaos, that might prolong the U.S. stay in a way that ISIS-K believes might suit their interests. So it’s a very real risk, I think, to our aircraft, to our personnel, to people who have congregated around the airport. Whenever you have a mass gathering like that, it is an opportunity for improvised and other explosive devices. So it’s a real danger.”
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.