President Biden tries to restore calm, vowing to rescue Americans and Afghan allies.


By Katie Rogers

WASHINGTON — President Biden on Friday promised to bring home any American still trapped in Afghanistan, calling the evacuation effort for Americans and vulnerable Afghans “one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history.”

But he acknowledged that he did not know how many Americans were still in the country, or if they could ultimately be brought out safely.

“Let me be clear: Any American who wants to come home, we will get you home,” Mr. Biden said, before adding, “I cannot promise what the final outcome will be, or that it will be without the risk of loss.”

He also remained staunchly committed to his decision to pull U.S. troops from the country, defiantly telling reporters, “Does anybody truly believe that I would not have had to put in significantly more American forces? Send your sons, your daughters, like my son was sent to Iraq, to maybe die?”

Seeking to give a sense of how many people had been flown out of the country in the days since Afghanistan’s collapse, Mr. Biden said that some 18,000 people had been airlifted from the country since July. This week, he said, Afghans — including women leaders — and American journalists — including staff members of The Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal — had been safely removed from the country.

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