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(Patrick Semansky/Pool/Getty Photos)
In his opening remarks, Secretary of Protection Austin emphasized the setting up that preceded the evacuation from Afghanistan and the positioning of forces that authorized troops to arrive in Kabul rather quickly as the evacuation started.
As early as spring, the Pentagon commenced considering about the probability of a non-combatant evacuation and getting ready for a quantity of eventualities, Austin told lawmakers. By early June, Austin pre-positioned forces in the location, he said, including three infantry battalions.
“We needed to be all set, and we were being,” he claimed.
Whilst the initially two times of the evacuation had been “hard,” Austin acknowledged, US troops restored get in 48 hours, and the herculean hard work to go tens of hundreds of American citizens and at-risk Afghans commenced in earnest.
“We all viewed with alarm the photos of Afghans hurrying the runway and our aircraft. We all try to remember the scenes of confusion outside the airport,” Austin mentioned.
The secretary of protection went on to outline the place points stand now.
“We are however performing to get Individuals out who want to go away,” Austin reported, however it is now the career of the State Office and the interagency, not the navy.
Lawmakers have frequently criticized the Biden administration for concluding the navy evacuation and withdrawal from Afghanistan even though there were being however American citizens who preferred to go away the state, in addition to the inability of the administration to say just how quite a few Americans are still left in Afghanistan.
On Monday, a senior Point out Department official explained the office is performing to get out about 100 US citizens and Afghan environmentally friendly card holders from Afghanistan, but there was no sign of when it could take place or by what route they would depart the region.
“Even with no armed forces existence on the floor, that portion of our mission is not above,” Austin mentioned.