Biden to address nation following end of longest U.S. war

“The Taliban made a commitment that they would not shoot at Americans. They've lived up to that commitment," Chairman Greg Meeks exclusively told theGrio

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President Joe Biden will be addressing the nation on Tuesday a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States has shifted from a military stance to a diplomatic mission in Afghanistan. These declarations end the longest war in U.S. history. 

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Greg Meeks exclusively told theGrio, “The Taliban made a commitment that they would not shoot at Americans. They’ve lived up to that commitment.” 

TheGrio got a preview of hearings that will take place soon on the full scope of the 20-year war from Chairman Meeks. He contends it will consist of various issues from intelligence gathering on the Taliban to lessons learned, and more. Meeks promises to call for those closely tied to the 20-year war from each presidential administration, from George W. Bush to Biden, to Capitol Hill for testimonies. 

President Joe Biden speaks about Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The timeline of the war and shifts in the missions and objectives for staying in Afghanistan will be a focal point of the hearings. Meeks highlighted that many Americans, if asked why the United States had boots on the ground in Afghanistan, struggled to identify the reason and citied terror, peacekeeping, women’s equity or nation building. All of which at one point in time were correct, but underscore that the conflict would prolong for as long as the mission transitioned to a new cause. 

In the past 18 days, 120,000 people have flown out of Afghanistan, with 6,000 Americans said to be out of the country and anywhere between 100 and 200 people still there. 

Secretary Blinkin said the United States will bring home anyone who wants to come home after the Aug. 31 deadline. 

U.S. Army soldiers are briefed on COVID-19 quarantine procedures after returning home from a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan on December 10, 2020 at Fort Drum, New York. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Another move to shift the United States presence in Afghanistan is in the works and will involve building a new team to help lead suspended missions moving from Kabul to Doha, Qatar.

But the question remains, will the Taliban keep their promise to let Americans leave as they take over the majority of provinces in the country?

Meeks is adamant that the Taliban will be closely watched. Secretary Blinkin also said on Monday he will hold the Taliban to its pledge to let Americans leave.

President Biden is expected to reinforce this assurance on Tuesday during his address as pressure mounts on the administration to keep Americans abroad and on the home front safe. 

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