(PresidentialInsider.com)- On Sunday, August 22, faced with the almost certain probability that not all Americans and Afghan allies would be successfully evacuated before the looming August 31 deadline, President Biden indicated that he was considering moving the deadline back to allow for more time.
The administration announced that the President would be meeting with the other G7 leaders on Tuesday and the topic of the August 31 deadline would be discussed.
On Monday, a White House official told Reuters that President Biden would ultimately make the decision within twenty-four hours.
And he did.
He decided not to change a thing.
In fact, Biden had already made his decision not to budge on the deadline even before he had his virtual meeting with the other G7 leaders – all of whom were urging that the deadline be pushed back.
WOW: Fox reporting that the G7 had an agreement in place to tell the Taliban the G7 nations would stay in #Afghanistan past August 31, and now Joe Biden has undercut our allies again. pic.twitter.com/tXGoPmA3ln
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) August 24, 2021
This decision to stick with his August 31 deadline, while possibly based on his own national security team’s suggestions, may also have been forced by the Taliban itself.
In response to hints that the President might extend the deadline to withdraw, Taliban spokesman Dr. Suhail Shaheen, told reporters that there would be no extension allowed, saying that the August 31 date is the Taliban’s “red line.” Shaheen said that if there was any remaining US presence after August 31, the Taliban would view it as “extending the occupation.” If the US tries to stay later, Shaheen said, “there would be consequences.”
On Tuesday, the Pentagon began drawing down the 6,000 US forces sent into Afghanistan shortly before Kabul fell.
The decision whether or not to stick to the August 31 deadline was first taken out of the G7’s hands by Biden, then taken out of Biden’s hands by the Taliban.
The President’s harried rush to get out of Afghanistan in time to spike the football on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 is now being used against him.
Meanwhile there could be thousands of American citizens, legal residents and Afghan allies stuck in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan after the deadline passes.
After the terror attacks around the Kabul airport on Thursday, President Biden, when he eventually turned up to address the nation nearly eight hours later, hinted that even after the deadline, the US would work to get these people out.
Well, Biden never said.