WASHINGTON — The Biden administration will deploy 3,000 troops to Afghanistan to assist with the drawdown of personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
The news comes as the Taliban is advancing quickly on the Afghan capital. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby held a briefing on Thursday and said the troops will deploy to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport within 24 to 48 hours.
“This is a very narrowly focused mission of safeguarding the orderly reduction of civilian personnel out of Afghanistan,” Kirby said.
The U.S. troops will also be positioned in Kuwait in the event they are needed in Afghanistan to help secure the airport. Additionally, 1,000 Army and Air Force will deploy to Qatar to help process special immigrant visas for those Afghan nationals who helped the U.S. during the war.
“In light of the evolving security situation, we expect to draw down to a core diplomatic presence in Afghanistan,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday.
President Joe Biden made the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan in April. Since then, the Taliban have now taken control of nearly two-thirds of the nation.
The Taliban claims to have captured Kandahar and Herat, the second and third largest cities in Afghanistan.
“What we’re seeing on the ground is that the Taliban continues to advance and to assume control of the district and provincial centers that clearly indicates that they believe it is possible to gain governance through force, through brutality, through violence, through oppression, which is at great odds with their previously stated goal of actually wanting to participate in a negotiated political solution,” Kirby told reporters Wednesday.
Speaking at the White House on Tuesday, Biden said he did not regret to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, despite the Taliban taking over much of the country.
“Look, we spent over a trillion dollars over 20 years, we trained and equipped with modern equipment over 300,000 Afghan forces,” Biden said.
“Afghan leaders have to come together,” Biden added. “They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation.”
Biden gave remarks at the White House on Friday but did not respond to reporters’ questions afterward nor when he left for Delaware, where he will spend the night.