It’s not a good look when House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff comes out of a briefing with intelligence officials and tells a reporter that the United States is “very unlikely” to complete evacuations by Joe Biden’s deadline of August 31st.
Schiff claims it’s possible, but stressed that it’s more unlikely than anything because of the number of people and overall logistics of the operation.
Those people include, but may not be limited to, US citizens, allies, at-risk Afghans, and even Special Immigrant Visa applicants (SIVs), according to the report on Yahoo:
Schiff said evacuations by Aug. 31 are “possible” but “very unlikely given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated, the number of SIV’s, the number of others who are members of the Afghan press, civil society leaders, women leaders.”
“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,” Schiff continued. “Nonetheless, given the logistical difficulties of moving people to the airport and the limited number of workarounds, 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.”
WATCH Adam Schiff give his statement:
President Joe Biden had originally set a deadline of August 31st, and the Taliban has stated that this is their “red line” for him – meaning it must be done by then or there could be an unwanted response from the Taliban.
Joe Biden is expected to decide on extending his deadline beyond August 31st, or dealing with the potential threat from the Taliban.
Biden stated it would be “hard and painful” to get this done by August 31st and suggested that a lot more could still go terribly wrong, meaning United States troops would be in Afghanistan beyond the deadline, facing threats from Taliban.
Reuters reported on the looming decision:
On Monday, an administration official told Reuters that Biden would decide within 24 hours whether to extend the timeline to give the Pentagon time to prepare.
Beyond the need to remove thousands of Americans, citizens of allied countries and Afghans who worked with U.S. forces, Department of Defense officials said it would still take days to fly out the 6,000 troops deployed to secure and run the airlift.
Some Biden advisers were arguing against extending the self-imposed deadline for security reasons. Biden could signal his intentions at a virtual meeting of the Group of Seven wealthy nations on Tuesday.
Biden is facing pressure from other G7 leaders to extend the evacuation deadline.
If he does, and the Taliban strikes, then what?