Biden ‘s latest test is set to be a test so varying that it could either go very well or very bad. According to statements released by the Talibans spokesperson, the United States is required by Taliban law to vacate Afghanistan by the set deadline of 31 August. Refusal to reportedly vacate as negotiated would mean, per the terrorist group, that the Americans are setting themselves up for violent reactions from the group.
It is understood that at this time the group has agreed to hold off (so they say) until 31 August so that the U.S can evacuate as many people as it can. But evacuation efforts have been stalled in the country near the airport against the backdrop of reports that the Taliban is not being honest. Several reports claim that the Taliban is intentionally making it difficult for people to get through to the airport in hopes that they don’t cross over at all.
The Taliban has made it clear that if the “red line” of 31 August is passed without their consent — what happens next will not be polite for the Americans.
Biden has made it clear that the administration has not ruled out extending that deadline, though, that would mean that the Americans would either have to violate Taliban-rule or come to some sort of mutual agreement with the newly formed regime. Of course continuing negotiations with the group lends credibility to them thereby giving the idea to other terrorist groups that their actions are somehow okay.
On the other side of the coin —- multiple reports indicate that American intelligence fears that the longer evac efforts are stalled that ISIS may step in. It is unclear in what capacity that ISIS attacks are feared, but, it is understood that now that the Taliban control Afghanistan that they probably aren’t far behind.
Much of the confrontation is happening mostly outside of the Hamid Karzai International which is under Taliban control but a truce is stopping reported attacks (so far.) It has become increasingly difficult for civilians to make their way through the airport because of reported roadblocks by the Taliban despite what their spokesperson may say.
The expected heated confrontation and problems furthering in the area were only worsened by the reported gunfire that took place on Friday night. According to U.S and other allied officials, a gunman opened fire at the north gate of the airport which in turn resulted in a brief gun battle with military forces. It is understood that that particular situation was quickly gotten under control.
Over the weekend, the Pentagon activated what is known as the Commercial/Civil Reserve Air fleet. It is unclear the last time such was actually activated but 18 flights have been handed over to the government for assistance in Afghanistan. Officials say they will not be used near the airport but instead will be used in safe haven areas to further transport Americans; visa applicants, and other people who are vulnerable to the area.
They are three from American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines and Omni Air; two from Hawaiian Airlines; and four from United Airlines.