UPDATED 10:16 AM PT – Friday, August 13, 2021
The U.S. announced it would be sending thousands of troops back to Afghanistan despite a troop withdrawal underway. As the Biden administration aims to pullout troops from Afghanistan, the State Department said it would also be decreasing it’s staff at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby confirmed during a press briefing on Thursday that the Biden administration would be sending 3,000 troops to Afghanistan to help evacuate U.S. Embassy officials after key cities in the country were taken over by the Taliban. Despite the thousands of troops being sent to Kabul, Kirby said they still plan to pullout the remaining American troops.
“Again, what I said was, we are aiming to facilitate the reduction of the civilian personnel by Aug. 31. So, it’s all lining up on the same timeline,” said Kirby. “I won’t speculate on what the footprint is going to look like post Aug. 31 because there is this additional mission set of helping process special immigrants so, we’re just gonna have to wait and see.”
— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) August 12, 2021
Kirby added that the 3,000 troops have a specific and narrow focus to safely remove officials amidst growing conflict in the region. Additionally, spokesperson Ned Price said only “core diplomatic presence” would remain, as safety in the region continues to decline. Price called the move a “reduction in the size of our civilian footprint.”