President Biden to deliver speech as Afghan situation deteriorates
19:58, 20 August 2021
Photo: Joe Burbank/TNS via ZUMA Wire/ТАСС
Widely criticized for the withdrawal process, the US President and Vice President Kamala Harris will meet security agents to share updates on Afghanistan.
US President Joe Biden is going to address the nation after having consulted with the US security and intelligence services.
The speech is scheduled for 1 pm local time and will be recorded in the White House.
It is expected to focus on the evacuation of the Americans and Afghans who worked for the US government and the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program. It is unknown if Biden will answer journalists’ questions.
The announcement comes after a wave of criticism Biden had to face in recent days. Both Democrats and Republicans accuse Biden of reacting too slowly to the Taliban’s* advance and taking tardy measures to let the US citizens leave the country.
White House representatives have already assured that Biden’s priority is to take every American who wants to return from Afghanistan, as well as Afghan allies.
Senator Lindsey Graham has said in an interview that if Biden leaves behind any Americans and thousands of Afghans who fought with the US, Biden deserves to be impeached.
We are DUTY bound to get every American citizen out of Afghanistan.
We are HONOR bound to get those Afghans who bravely fought by our side out.
Republicans including former US President Donald Trump are questioning Biden’s capacities to act as the country’s commander in chief, accusing him of a chaotic withdrawal and choosing the wrong moment to quit the Afghan mission.
In return, Biden said that there can be no good time to leave the country.
"Fifteen years ago would've been a problem, 15 years from now. The basic choice is am I going to send your sons and your daughters to war in Afghanistan in perpetuity?"
He also blamed Afghan military forces as well as the former government and stated that he was trapped by a bad withdrawal agreement signed by Trump.
Biden's overall approval ranking plunged to 46% in Reuters/Ipsos polling, the lowest registered in weekly polls since he took office in January.
At the same time, according to the same survey, 31% of American citizens believe the US should not drop its mission in Afghanistan, compared with 25% in 2012.
*Taliban is a terror organization banned in the US, Russia and many other countries.