'Logical, rational': Joe Biden defends move to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan
- Joe Biden on Sunday defended his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan
- He said that history will record the move as a 'logical, rational and right decision.'
- Biden also said that evacuations of Americans from Afghanistan had picked up over the weekend
Facing heavy criticism, United States President Joe Biden on Sunday defended his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Biden said that history will record the move as a 'logical, rational and right decision.' Earlier this year, Biden had announced that all US troops in Afghanistan would be pulled out by August 31. With the majority of US troops out of the country, the Taliban went on an offensive and captured power.
The Biden administration has come under criticism from some quarters for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan as the Taliban captured power, resulting in chaos and deaths.
But the US President defended his decision saying, "I think that history is going to record this was the logical, rational, and right decision to make."
He also said that evacuations of Americans and allies from Afghanistan had picked up over the weekend. But admitted that it remains vulnerable to threats posed by the Islamic State extremist group.
One week after the Taliban completed its takeover of Afghanistan by capturing Kabul, Biden said discussions are underway among military officials about potentially extending the airlift beyond Biden's Aug. 31 deadline. “Our hope is we will not have to extend, but there are discussions,” he said, suggesting the possibility that the Taliban will be consulted.
He said the first priority was to get American citizens out of Afghanistan. Since August 14, one day before the Taliban entered Kabul, US has airlifted 28,000 people, Biden said. He said that included 11,000 who had departed from Kabul in a 36-hour period this weekend, but he did not provide details.
"At my direction, the State Department continues to reach out to the remaining Americans we have identified by phone, e-mail, and other means to ascertain their whereabouts and their plans," he added.
The US is also evacuating the citizens of NATO allies and its partners, including their diplomats, their embassy staff who remain in Afghanistan and to get them back to their homes as well.
(With AP and PTI inputs)