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President Details Role of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan

Aug. 16, 2021 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

President Joe Biden today addressed the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban and the actions U.S. troops are now taking to facilitate the departure of allies and Afghan partners. He spoke from the White House.

Biden said he authorized 6,000 U.S. troops to deploy to Afghanistan to assist in the evacuation.

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Troops are working to secure the Hamid Karzai International Airport to enable their safe departure, he said.

"Over the coming days we intend to transport out thousands of American citizens who have been living and working in Afghanistan, while also continuing to support the safe departure of civilian personnel of our allies who are still serving in Afghanistan," he said.

Within the coming days, the U.S. military will assist with moving special immigrant visa-eligible Afghans and their families out of Afghanistan, he said, adding that there are others who will be eligible for movement out of the country as well.

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"American troops are performing this mission as professionally and effectively as they always do. But it is not without risks. As we carry out this departure, we have made it clear to the Taliban that if they attack our personnel or disrupt our operation, the U.S. response will be swift and forceful. We will defend our people with devastating force if necessary," he said.

"I cannot and will not ask our troops to fight on endlessly in another country's civil war, taking casualties, suffering life-shattering injuries, leaving families broken by grief and loss. This is not in our national security interest and it is not what the American people want," he said, explaining the rationale for departure.