Biden says troops will stay in Afghanistan as long as it takes to evacuate all US civilians
Joe Biden said US troops will remain in Afghanistan until all remaining US citizens – and citizens of US allies – are evacuated from the country after receiving criticism for the chaotic withdrawal of US forces.
In a defensive interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News on Wednesday, Mr Biden said there was no way to avoid “chaos” by leaving Afghanistan, and that he was committed to evacuating the Americans and their allies before the August 31 deadline, but that if any American citizens were still in the country, its forces “would stay until we got them all out.”
At Thursday’s Pentagon briefing, it was revealed that an additional 2,000 people had been evacuated in the past 24 hours, but bottlenecks in getting people into Kabul airport, rather than the ability to flight, are the real challenge.
The State Department said 6,000 people were treated at the airport and spokesman Ned Rice said they hope to take off 20 ground flights tonight, which could clear the majority of between them.
Domestically, new jobless claims have fallen to pandemic low, and the Biden administration has announced that it is wiping out $ 5.8 billion in student debt for Americans with disabilities.
No viable explosives in Floyd Roseberry’s truck, officials say
NBC News reports that a search of Floyd Roseberry’s truck did not reveal any viable explosives.
Mr Roseberry parked outside the Library of Congress this morning and made threats, resulting in evacuations and a tense confrontation with police.
Olivier o’connellAugust 19, 2021 9:54 PM
Are Americans obligated to pay for repatriation flights?
It would appear so, and that seems to be State Department policy for Americans stranded abroad.
Jerry Dunleavy from DC Examiner notes that the State Department’s Foreign Security Advisory Council said on August 14: “Repatriation flights are not free, and passengers will be required to sign a promissory loan agreement and may not be eligible for renew their US passport until the loan is repaid. The cost can be $ 2,000 or more per person.
Olivier o’connellAugust 19, 2021 9:50 PM
House rules for setting measures for infrastructure, budget and voting bills by John Lewis
The House Rules Committee will meet on Monday, August 23 at 11 a.m. to set House guidelines for the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate; the Democrats’ $ 3.5 trillion budget resolution; and the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill (HR 4).
Olivier o’connellAugust 19, 2021 9:35 PM
Photo: Afghans leaving Kabul on a US transport plane
Richard Engel of NBC shares this photo of Afghan civilians being evacuated from Kabul aboard a US military C-17 to start a new life in other countries after the Taliban return to power.
Olivier o’connellAugust 19, 2021 9:22 PM
Are we considering a Senate super-broadcaster event?
It has been eight days since the Senate took a break for its August recess, well during the period in which symptoms of Covid-19 are manifesting.
Olivier o’connellAugust 19, 2021 9:12 PM
Biden approval poll drops slightly overall, but president suffers from foreign policy proficiency
The latest presidential approval polls compiled by FiveThirtyEight show that Joe Biden’s overall approval rating has remained remarkably stable over the week, dropping only 1% since Monday.
On Thursday, Mr. Biden had an approval rating of 49.1% and a disapproval rating of 44.5%.
The latest YouGov poll has the president at 49% to 46% after adjusting for quality, recency, sample size, and partisan tendency of respondents.
However, a closer look at the numbers shows:
… far more Americans now disapprove of Biden on foreign policy (48%) than they approve of (36%) – a significant change from last month, when the country was also divided on the issue (42 % disapproving to 41% agreeing).
Notably, disapproval of Biden’s foreign policy increased by the same amount (7 points) among Democrats (to 18%) and Republicans (to 86%).
Yet almost all of Biden’s new opposition to Afghanistan is concentrated among Republicans and, to a lesser extent, independents. Last month, Republicans were also divided over whether they were in favor (37%) or opposed (39%) of the withdrawal; today, many more Republicans oppose it (57%) than they favor (22%).
Likewise, the self-employed fell from 53% to 20% in favor of withdrawal, to only 39% to 27% in favor of withdrawal, during the same period. Democrats, meanwhile, have become slightly more supportive of the pullout (60% to 10%) in the wake of recent events.
Olivier o’connellAugust 19, 2021 9:04 PM
As Taliban rises in Afghanistan, Middle East rivals fight for influence
Borzou Daragahi, international correspondent of The independent, examines the changing dynamics of Kabul’s Gulf relations.
Olivier o’connellAugust 19, 2021 8:45 PM
State Department: 20 full flights from Kabul tonight
State Department spokesman Ned Price said they hope to get 20 evacuee flights out of Kabul tonight.
6,000 people have been treated and are waiting at Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Olivier o’connellAugust 19, 2021 20:34
A third senator tested positive for Covid-19
A third senator has tested positive for Covid-19 after the announcements of Angus King and Roger Wicker earlier today.
Senator John Hickenlooper said, “I am grateful to the vaccine (and the scientists behind it) for limiting my symptoms and allowing us to continue our work for Colorado.
Olivier o’connellAugust 19, 2021 20:29
DHS Deputy Chief Sends Message to Workforce on Afghanistan
Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security John Tien sent a personal message to DHS staff regarding the situation in Afghanistan.
He speaks as a veteran knowing that many DHS personnel have served on the ground in Afghanistan, referring to the thought-provoking images from the country, he writes: “I deeply understand the mixed reactions that the ‘we can feel.
Olivier o’connellAugust 19, 2021 8:22 PM