US Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted that Taliban gains in Afghanistan happened "more quickly than we anticipated," but defended America's withdrawal.
"The idea that the status quo could have been maintained by keeping our forces there is simply wrong," Blinken told CNN’s Jake Tapper adding that the prime focus is getting all Americans out of the country safely.
Blinken said the US is not asking the Taliban for anything to allow for a safe US evacuation.
“We haven’t asked the Taliban for anything. We’ve told the Taliban that if they interfere with our personnel, with our operations as we’re proceeding with this drawdown, there will be a swift and decisive response."
CNN reported earlier that the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilizad has requested that Taliban fighters not enter Kabul until the US citizens are evacuated, according to a source familiar with the discussions.