President Biden belatedly addressed the situation late in the day Saturday. His first move was to announce an increase in the US security deployment to Kabul to assist the evacuation of US diplomatic staff.
“I have authorized the deployment of approximately 5,000 US troops to make sure we can have an orderly and safe drawdown of US personnel and other allied personnel,” he said while acknowledging the Taliban advance.
“we have conveyed to the Taliban representatives in Doha, via our Combatant Commander, that any action on their part on the ground in Afghanistan, that puts US personnel or our mission at risk there, will be met with a swift and strong US military response,” Biden said.
Earlier in the day The Washington Post wrote:
US officials now appealing to the Taliban to wait for the completion of the U.S. evacuation saying that doing so would increase “the likelihood that both the international community and Afghans will accept the Taliban’s entry into the capital.”
More details began to be released within the hour after the White House statement. Soldiers from Fort Bragg are reportedly being mobilized.
According to Pentagon Correspondent Tara Copp, the breakdown of 5,000 troops as follows:
- 650 already on the ground protecting Kabul Airport & embassy
- USMC embassy security detachment
- 3,000 from 3 USMC USArmy infantry battalions that are enroute/ will be on the ground by this weekend,
- 1,000 @82ndABNDiv getting re-routed direct to #Kabul