Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Joe Biden speaks to reporters

 President Joe Biden speaks from the East Room of the White House on August 23, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Defying War Hawks, Biden Plans to Stick With Afghan Exit Deadline

"Despite the pressure from the hawks, Biden actually appears to be ending this war."

Jake Johnson

President Joe Biden reportedly intends to stick with his self-imposed August 31 deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, rejecting calls for an extension from hawkish GOP lawmakers, members of his own party, and European allies.

During a Tuesday call, according to the Wall Street Journal, Biden told the leaders of G7 nations that the U.S. is on track to meet the withdrawal deadline and that the Pentagon is developing contingency plans in the case of any delay.

The U.S. president's decision to stand by the August 31 deadline provoked immediate howls of outrage from pro-war Republican lawmakers, who accused Biden of capitulating to the Taliban's demand for a timely withdrawal—even though the Pentagon has recommended adherence to the original deadline, warning that staying longer could pose security risks.

On Monday, as Common Dreams reported, Taliban leaders made clear that they would not accept any U.S. effort to push back the withdrawal date—and that any extension would "provoke a reaction."

"Despite the pressure from the hawks, Biden actually appears to be ending this war," The Daily Poster's Walker Bragman tweeted Tuesday. "This is a meaningful foreign policy difference between Joe Biden and his predecessor, who didn't pull the trigger on it."

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the anti-war group CodePink, said Tuesday that she was "glad to hear that Biden is sticking to the August 31 deadline to get out of Afghanistan."

Members of Congress from both parties—including some progressives—have raised concerns about the ability of U.S. forces to evacuate the remaining American troops and fleeing Afghan allies by August 31. The Biden administration has said it does not know how many U.S. citizens are still in Afghanistan.

Progressive advocacy groups and lawmakers have also pressured the Biden administration to evacuate and provide a safe haven for as many Afghan refugees as possible.

"There has been and remains an overwhelming bipartisan consensus that this cannot be done by August 31," said Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), who led a bipartisan letter last week expressing the same sentiment. That letter was signed by 42 lawmakers, including Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), the only member of Congress to vote against the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

The White House said Tuesday that the U.S. has evacuated roughly 58,700 people from Afghanistan since August 14, when the Taliban began closing in on the capital of Kabul.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Trump's CIA Considered Kidnapping or Assassinating Assange: Report

"The Biden administration must drop its charges against Assange immediately."

Jake Johnson ·

'Carrying Water for Big Corporations': Sinema Faces Backlash for Opposing Tax Hikes

"Make no mistake, if she sides with her wealthy donors and kills popular investments to jump-start the economy, everyday families—including across Arizona—will pay the price."

Jake Johnson ·

UN Chief Warns Humanity Is 'Unacceptably Close to Nuclear Annihilation'

"Now is the time to lift the cloud of nuclear conflict for good," United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said ahead of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Jake Johnson ·

Coalition Slams UN Food Summit for Peddling 'Corporate-Led False Solutions' to Hunger

"The U.N. has finally made it clear what 'multilateralism' is all about—paying lip service to the people while skewing priorities for the interests of imperialists and monopoly capitalists."

Jake Johnson ·

'Political Malpractice': House Democrats' Bill Wouldn't Add Dental to Medicare Until 2028

"I don't want to see it drawn out to as far as the House has proposed," Sen. Bernie Sanders said during a recent press call.

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo