With Afghanistan evacuation chaos, retired Lt. Gen. says Aug. 31 withdrawal date ‘unlikely’

Taliban Takeover

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden’s withdrawal date for troops from Afghanistan is not realistic if he wants to get all American citizens and allies out of the country, according to one retired lieutenant general.

Biden faces growing criticism as videos depict pandemonium and occasional violence outside the airport and as vulnerable Afghans who fear the Taliban’s retaliation send desperate pleas not to be left behind.

“I believe that we’re going to go likely well beyond that date if we’re going to be able to get the last American out of Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan partners who’ve been with us for 20 years,”  retired Lt. Gen. Richard Newton said.

In a new security warning, the U.S. Embassy on Saturday told citizens not to travel to the Kabul airport without “individual instructions from a U.S. government representative,” citing potential security threats outside its gates.

The Biden administration has recruited border patrol agents to help organize the evacuation of Americans and allies in Kabul.

Newton, who visited troops in Afghanistan multiple times, completely supports that idea.

“I think, for the president and our national security team to, to bring in all elements of capability, I think we ought to be putting all resources on the problem, on the evacuation, on the safety and security of our American citizens,” Newton explained.

Tens of thousands of Afghan translators and others, and their close family members, seek evacuation after the Taliban’s shockingly swift takeover of Afghanistan in a little over a week’s time. 

So far, 13 countries have agreed to host at-risk Afghans at least temporarily, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. Another 12 have agreed to serve as transit points for evacuees, including Americans and others. 

“I would tell the American citizens who are trapped outside of Karzai International Airport that they’re going to have to be able to sustain the next several days, if not couple weeks before they can get safely into inside the perimeter. And they’re going to have to hunker down,” Newton stated.

He told NewsNationNow.com the next step should be for the U.S. troops to establish perimeters or hubs outside the airport to help with the evacuation.

“The first priority of this President is to provide every available resource that we can muster in order to provide the safe security and eventual evacuation of our American citizens,” Newton added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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