Washington — President Biden is traveling back to Washington from Camp David on Monday afternoon to address the nation for the first time since the government of Afghanistan collapsed to the Taliban, prompting afrom the capital.
On Sunday, the, the nation’s capital, and U.S. troops have been scrambling to secure the city’s airport to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies, as civilians desperately try to catch flights leaving the country.
A U.S. military official told CBS News’ David Martin that U.S. troops had killed two armed Afghans who were part of the huge crowd that breached the airport perimeter, and reports said seven people have died in total. Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted on CNN Sunday that the defeat of Afghanistan forces that led to the Taliban’s takeover “happened more quickly than we anticipated,” but the Biden administration continues to stand by the president’s decision to withdraw troops.
The president has been at Camp David since Friday. While he and his aides have issued some statements and updates about the situation in Afghanistan, it will be the first time the president has addressed the topic on camera since last Tuesday.
How to watch Biden address the nation on Afghanistan
Last Thursday, the president ordered the removal of most employees from the U.S. embassy in Kabul. By Sunday night, all embassy personnel had been evacuated to the airport.
In a statement Saturday, the president placed some of the blame on President Donald Trump. The former president had given a May 1 deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, and Mr. Biden moved that date to the end of August.
“When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor — which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019 — that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on U.S. Forces,” Mr. Biden said in a statement Saturday. “Shortly before he left office, he also drew U.S. Forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500. Therefore, when I became President, I faced a choice — follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our Forces and our allies’ Forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict. I was the fourth president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan — two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth.”