STANDOFF: Taliban Rejects Joe’s Deadline Extension… Calls It ‘Red Line’

Written by Wes Walker on August 23, 2021

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God alone knows how many Americans are still trapped behind Taliban lines. The clock is ticking. With the Taliban’s latest statement, the ticking of that clock just got a lot louder.

In the mad scramble to get American civilians, Afghani translators, and other vulnerable allies out of the country to safety, we need the time it takes to get the people together (past the gauntlet in running to the airport) and in the air to safety.

The smart play would have been to keep Bagram airbase open until all the vulnerable people had been safely sent home and then pack up the gear with the airbase the last thing to close down. At least THAT way, we don’t have a Super-sized version of Carter’s Iran Hostage Crisis, with thousands — or even tens of thousands — of Americans (and our friends) in harm’s way.

Unfortunately, that ship has long since sailed. Now we’re facing taunts from the Taliban.

But the question of getting our people to safety remains. France’s Macron, and some of our other allies, are adamant that more time will be required to get everyone out. Since that option has been wasted, we have to work with what we have left. And it isn’t much. An airport in the heart of a crowded urban setting, where there is only one runway, and no hardened defenses to fall back behind if this the situation goes South.

But today’s Pentagon presser is told us the evacuation, while not perfect, is unfolding according to plan. The Taliban is speaking as though they are in a position of strength and have begun uttering threats. They used a phrase that Biden may remember from his days in Obama’s administration. One about ‘red lines’.

“You can say it’s a red line,” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Sky News in an interview Monday.

“If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations — the answer is no,” Shaheen told Sky News. “Or there would be consequences.”

If the U.S. extends the deadline, “that means they are extending the occupation,” Shaneen told Sky News. “That will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation, it will provoke a reaction.” —ArmyTimes