Biden Sticks to Afghanistan Withdrawal Deadline at the Taliban’s Request


Jordan Sekulow

August 24, 2021

5 min read

Foreign Policy



President Biden joined a virtual G-7 meeting over the chaos that is happening in Afghanistan today. It’s been reported that during this meeting, President Biden told other world leaders that the U.S. is not budging on the August 31st deadline in Afghanistan. This comes even after our allies and world leaders pleaded with the U.S. to extend the withdrawal despite the Taliban’s warnings. Is the U.S. caving to the Taliban?

It’s clear that the Taliban is calling the shots. A Taliban spokesperson in an interview with Sky News gave his stance on the hard cut-off of August 31st: 

It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on August 31st they would withdraw all their military forces. So, if they extend it, that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that. . . . If the U.S. or U.K. were to seek additional time to continue evacuations, the answer is no. Or there would be consequences.

ACLJ Senior Military Analyst Wes Smith explains the ignorance of giving your enemy a timeline:

Why would you telegraph that? It is amateur hour at the White House. But more shocking for me, as a retired military guy, it was amateur hour apparently at the Pentagon as well. . . . There will not be an easy fix for this mess that this Administration got us into. This will be ugly – likely Americans are going to be left behind in some numbers, and the Taliban will have a complete takeover of Afghanistan. This is not a crisis in belief in the U.S. military or its credibility. It is about a crisis of leadership in Washington, D.C., in particular at the White House, the Pentagon, and the Department of State. The Biden Administration stumbled into this plan without any contingency plan if things went wrong. It was an unrealistic plan to begin with. Like I said, it is a hot mess that we are not going to get out of without paying a price.

There is not much agreement in Washington, D.C., anymore, but most people agree that this timeline is not feasible. Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff voiced his opposition to the set date when he said:

Nevertheless, given the logistical difficulties of moving people to the airport, and the limited number of work arounds, it’s hard for me to see that being fully complete by the end of the month, and I’m certainly of the view that we maintain a military presence as long as it’s necessary to get all U.S. persons out and to meet our moral and ethical obligation to our Afghan partners. 

There is a wide agreement among Congress that this is the wrong move. ACLJ Director of Government Affairs Thann Bennett explained the movement in Congress as House Members are being briefed en masse today over Afghanistan:

Well, Washington is not good at deadlines. But one thing they are good at is circling the wagon. So, when you are President Biden and you’ve lost Adam Schiff on this, you’ve essentially lost everyone. What we have had so far is two series of briefings. . . the comment from Adam Schiff, that happened last night to the House Intelligence Committee. And actually, Adam Schiff came out and expressed three main points. The one you played about the concern about the timeline . . . . He also expressed concern about airport security. . . . Then also . . . he said this was not an intelligence failure; it was an execution failure. But then today Nancy Pelosi called for a House-wide classified briefing that Members are just coming out of right now, so you will get some reaction out of that, although it was in a classified setting. And for this week that briefing, and then probably later in the week you’ll see a briefing of the Gang of Eight. Those are taking place at these hearings. The one piece of analysis I would give you there is that it is raising the importance and urgency level of these briefings. It is not an open setting. . . . It is behind closed doors and it’s classified and House-wide. So look, I think I would leave you with this – when you are Joe Biden and you’ve lost Adam Schiff, you don’t have anyone else in Washington, D.C.

The problem that the Biden Administration has created is this – under this leadership, how do you make good on the promises you’ve made to the world if you just cut loose and run? Even with the pushback from both sides of the aisle in Congress, the media, and the American people, the Biden Administration is not budging. This is ongoing. We’re preparing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to demand the truth. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as we approach August 31st.

Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more analysis of the Taliban’s deadline for the U.S. to evacuate on August 31st. 

Watch the full broadcast below.