Harris: Administration “Singularly Focused” on Evacuating Americans, Afghan Allies, At-Risk Afghans

Speaking during a news conference in Singapore alongside the country’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, Vice President Kamala Harris said the Biden administration is “singularly focused” on evacuating Americans, Afghan allies, and at-risk Afghans as the security situation continues to deteriorate in Kabul following the Taliban takeover.

“I think there’s going to be plenty of time to analyze what has happened and what has taken place in the context of the withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Harris said. “But right now, we are singularly focused on evacuating American citizens, Afghans who worked with us, and Afghans who are vulnerable, including women and children.”

Harris said there would be a “robust analysis” of the way the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan has been executed. Critics have assailed the Biden administration for going ahead with the evacuation despite intelligence briefings that warned of the speed at which the Taliban would seize back control of Afghanistan.

“There’s no question there will be and should be a robust analysis of what has happened. But right now, there is no question that our focus has to be on evacuating American citizens, Afghans who worked with us, and vulnerable Afghans, including women and children. That has to be our primary focus and where we are placing our attention on the issue of Afghanistan,” Harris said.

More than 30,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since the end of July; the Pentagon said Saturday that more than 17,000 people had been evacuated since the evacuation operation began on August 14.