Britain Loses Hope That Biden Will Push Back Kabul Evacuation Cutoff
Time is fast running out in the scramble to flee Kabul. Several U.S. allies have urged President Joe Biden to extend the Aug. 31 deadline to complete the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan—but one of them, Britain, believes that neither Biden nor the Taliban are going to play ball. U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told BBC News Tuesday morning: “I think at the moment it is unlikely. We have to plan on Aug. 31 being the last moment. Every day we get after that would be a big bonus.” Biden has come under pressure from the U.K., France and other allies to extend the evacuation deadline, but is reluctant to do so. Wallace said: “Everyone knows that the rest of the international community wishes to have more time but there are two other people with a vote in that—that is the Taliban and the president of the United States—and, in the end, both of them have significant power in that final decision.” On Monday, the Taliban warned that any push to extend the deadline would be a “clear violation” of the agreements.