The Biden administration is preparing for the fall of Kabul and a retreat from any U.S. diplomatic presence in Afghanistan — a stunning reversal of expectations.
- It’s looking increasingly likely to high-ranking aides to President Biden that the U.S. will have no enduring diplomatic presence in Afghanistan beyond Aug. 31 — the date Biden has promised the full troop withdrawal will be complete.
Why it matters: It’s a major reversal from even a few weeks ago.
- The working assumption in Biden’s inner circle had been that Kabul could hold for the short term, allowing the U.S. to stay diplomatically engaged and help Afghan women secure their rights beyond the U.S. withdrawal.
- The 3,000 Marines and soldiers going in to help with the evacuation will also be gone by Aug. 31, we’re told.
Between the lines: Biden is at Camp David this weekend, not at his Delaware beach house. He can relax there, but also has full comms.