President BidenJoe BidenRand Paul calls for Fauci's firing over 'lack of judgment' Dems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Six big off-year elections you might be missing MORE will reportedly decide whether to extend the timetable for the U.S.’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in the next 24 hours, as the security situation in the country continues to deteriorate amid the Taliban’s offensive.
Reuters reported, citing an administration official, that Biden will decide within 24 hours if the U.S. will extend its Aug. 31 deadline for the troop withdrawal mission to give the Pentagon more time to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies.
The U.S. military has ramped up its evacuation effort since the Taliban seized control in Afghanistan over the last week, working to pull American citizens and Afghan allies from the country.
Roughly 48,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since Aug. 14, including 10,900 individuals who were pulled from the country in the first half of Monday.
Officials in the Department of Defense, however, are reportedly concerned that more time is needed to evacuate the remaining personnel from Afghanistan amid a chaotic and swift sweep of power by the Taliban.
In additional to the thousands of Americans, citizens of allied countries, Afghans who worked with the U.S. and roughly 6,000 troops who were deployed to help with the evacuation process still need to be pulled from the country. Defense officials said the final part could take days, according to Reuters.
Biden on Sunday left the door open to extending the withdrawal mission, saying during an address from the White House, “There are discussions going on among us and the military about extending.”
While Biden was considering an extension, some of his advisers were reportedly making the case for getting out by Aug. 31, citing security reasons.
Two U.S. officials told the news wire, however, that they expect that the U.S. will still be carrying out evacuations after next week.
Defense officials told Reuters that nearly everything would have to go perfectly in order for the U.S. to pull all American citizens by Aug. 31 because of concerns at the Kabul airport, threats of potential terrorist attacks and complicated processing times.
The Taliban, however, is signaling that it will not be receptive to such a move. The group’s spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told Sky News on Monday that the Aug. 31 deadline, which Biden set last month after moving it up from the initial date of Sept. 11, is a “red line.”
The Hill reached out to the White House for comment.