U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks to the press at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Austin said U.S. forces would evacuate as many people as possible from the Kabul airport as thousands pressed to leave after the Taliban takeover of the country. ( (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 6:40 AM PT – Sunday, August 22, 2021
A bipartisan group of representatives claimed the deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan was arbitrary and fueled panic. The four representatives, two Democrat veterans and two Republican veterans, met on Friday to discuss the withdrawal.
Democrat Rep. Jason Crow (Colo.) asked the Biden administration to extend efforts around the Kabul airport to get Americans out. He said he believed that would be the only way for Americans to make it past the Taliban and be evacuated.
In addition, Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer (R) called the August 31 deadline arbitrary and said the U.S. needed to focus on the goal of evacuation rather than specific dates.
“The situation evolved too rapidly for many of the estimates,” he expressed. “Right now, and I think we speak in a unified voice in this, we cannot turn our backs on the American citizens that are there and on our Afghan allies who are there as well.”
The total number of Americans and Afghan allies still needing evacuation has been estimated to be in the thousands.