Biden will wait until TOMORROW to address the nation on Afghanistan

President Joe Biden will wait until Tuesday to address the nation on the withdraw of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the White House announced on Monday evening.

The Pentagon announced Monday the last American troops had left Kabul airport almost 24 hours ahead of schedule, ending the U.S. war in Afghanistan after 20 years and the deaths of almost 2,500 troops.

Witnesses in Kabul said the Taliban let off celebratory gunfire as news circulated that the final U.S. flight had left.

Biden had stuck to his August 31st deadline despite pressure from some members of his own Democratic Party, many Republicans and several fellow world leaders. 

The announcement from the Pentagon came after Biden’s last scheduled public appearance on Monday and after the clock in Kabul clicked past midnight, making it August 31st there.

Biden addressed the matter in a 500 word statement, saying he would speak to the nation on Tuesday.

In his statement, he thanked U.S. troops and their commanders. 

‘Our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended. Tomorrow afternoon, I will address the American people on my decision not to extend our presence in Afghanistan beyond 8/31,’ he said.

Biden said the decision was the ‘unanimous recommendation’ of the Joint Chiefs and commanders on the ground. 

‘For now, I urge all Americans to join me in grateful prayer tonight for three things. First, for our troops and diplomats who carried out this mission of mercy in Kabul and at tremendous risk with such unparalleled results: an airlift that evacuated tens of thousands more people than any imagined possible. Second, to the network of volunteers and veterans who helped identify those needing evacuation, guide them to the airport, and provide support along the way. And third, to everyone who is now – and who will – welcome our Afghan allies to their new homes around the world, and in the United States.’

He ended his statement with a ‘moment of gratitude’ for the 13 service members in Afghanistan who died last week during the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport. 

The final C-17, with the call sign MOOSE 88, lifted off from Hamid Karzai International Airport at 3:29 pm East Coast time. 

President Joe Biden will wait until Tuesday to address the nation on the withdraw of U.S. troops from Afghanistan

President Joe Biden will wait until Tuesday to address the nation on the withdraw of U.S. troops from Afghanistan

President Joe Biden will wait until Tuesday to address the nation on the withdraw of U.S. troops from Afghanistan

Biden statement on withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan 

President Joe Biden will not address the nation on the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan until Tuesday but he did release a statement on Monday.

The Pentagon announced Monday the last American troops had left Kabul airport almost 24 hours ahead of schedule, ending the U.S. war in Afghanistan after 20 years and the deaths of almost 2,500 troops.

I want to thank our commanders and the men and women serving under them for their execution of the dangerous retrograde from Afghanistan as scheduled – in the early morning hours of August 31st, Kabul time – with no further loss of American lives. The past 17 days have seen our troops execute the largest airlift in US history, evacuating over 120,000 US citizens, citizens of our allies, and Afghan allies of the United States. They have done it with unmatched courage, professionalism, and resolve. Now, our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended. 

Tomorrow afternoon, I will address the American people on my decision not to extend our presence in Afghanistan beyond 8/31. For now, I will report that it was the unanimous recommendation of the Joint Chiefs and of all of our commanders on the ground to end our airlift mission as planned. Their view was that ending our military mission was the best way to protect the lives of our troops, and secure the prospects of civilian departures for those who want to leave Afghanistan in the weeks and months ahead. 

I have asked the Secretary of State to lead the continued coordination with our international partners to ensure safe passage for any Americans, Afghan partners, and foreign nationals who want to leave Afghanistan. This will include work to build on the UN Security Council Resolution passed this afternoon that sent the clear message of what the international community expects the Taliban to deliver on moving forward, notably freedom of travel. The Taliban has made commitments on safe passage and the world will hold them to their commitments. It will include ongoing diplomacy in Afghanistan and coordination with partners in the region to reopen the airport allowing for continued departure for those who want to leave and delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. 

For now, I urge all Americans to join me in grateful prayer tonight for three things. First, for our troops and diplomats who carried out this mission of mercy in Kabul and at tremendous risk with such unparalleled results: an airlift that evacuated tens of thousands more people than any imagined possible. Second, to the network of volunteers and veterans who helped identify those needing evacuation, guide them to the airport, and provide support along the way. And third, to everyone who is now – and who will – welcome our Afghan allies to their new homes around the world, and in the United States. 

Finally, I want to end with a moment of gratitude for the sacrifice of the 13 service members in Afghanistan who gave their lives last week to save tens of thousands: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak and Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss 

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Reports from on the ground in Afghanistan show the Taliban celebrating

Reports from on the ground in Afghanistan show the Taliban celebrating

Reports from on the ground in Afghanistan show the Taliban celebrating

The end of the Afghan mission was announced by General Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, during a zoom briefing at the Pentagon. 

‘Tonight’s withdrawal signifies both the end of the military component of the evacuation, but also the end of the nearly 20-year mission that began in Afghanistan shortly after Sept. 11, 2001,’ he said.

‘No words from me could possibly capture the full measure of sacrifices and accomplishments of those who served,’ he added.  

He said the chief U.S. diplomat in Afghanistan, Ross Wilson, was on the last C-17 flight out.  

‘There’s a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure,’ he said.

‘We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out. 

‘But I think if we’d stayed another 10 days, we wouldn’t have gotten everybody out.’  

The Taliban quickly declared victory after the last U.S. plane departed. 

‘American soldiers left the airport, and our nation got its full independence,’ said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. 

Republican lawmakers immediately criticized the decision to remove U.S. forces.

‘There are still hundreds of Americans left in Afghanistan … What is the plan now?’ House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said Monday night in the Capitol. 

He will introduce a resolution on Tuesday to try and bring the House back in session but it is expected to fail in the Democratically-controlled chamber. 

Meanwhile, advocacy groups said as many as 60,000 Afghan interpreters, drivers and others who assisted the U.S. remained behind.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Monday evening of the Afghan allies that ‘we’ve gotten many out but many are still there. We will keep working to help them. Our commitment to them has no deadline.’

The last plane left soon after midnight on Tuesday morning to beat President Biden's August 31 deadline for the withdrawal

The last plane left soon after midnight on Tuesday morning to beat President Biden's August 31 deadline for the withdrawal

The last plane left soon after midnight on Tuesday morning to beat President Biden’s August 31 deadline for the withdrawal

Taliban gunmen lit up the night sky over Kabul with tracer fire after the final U.S. military transport plane left the airport

Taliban gunmen lit up the night sky over Kabul with tracer fire after the final U.S. military transport plane left the airport

Taliban gunmen lit up the night sky over Kabul with tracer fire after the final U.S. military transport plane left the airport

Taliban says the LAST US evacuation flight has left Afghanistan just after midnight in Kabul: Insurgents 'celebrate with gunfire' with Americans and allies STILL stranded on the ground

Taliban says the LAST US evacuation flight has left Afghanistan just after midnight in Kabul: Insurgents 'celebrate with gunfire' with Americans and allies STILL stranded on the ground

Taliban says the LAST US evacuation flight has left Afghanistan just after midnight in Kabul: Insurgents ‘celebrate with gunfire’ with Americans and allies STILL stranded on the ground

The Pentagon said Monday that more than 122,000 people, including 5,400 Americans, have been evacuated since July. 

President George W. Bush launched the war in Afghanistan shortly after the September 11th attacks to overthrow the Taliban government, which had been friendly to al Qaeda. 

On Monday evening, Blinken announced the U.S. diplomatic mission had moved from Kabul to Doha, Qatar.

‘A new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan has begun,’ he said.

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