Biden announces he's authorized 5,000 troops to ensure "orderly and safe drawdown" in Afghanistan

Originally Published: 14 AUG 21 17:34 ET

    (CNN) -- President Joe Biden announced the authorization of a total of 5,000 troops to Afghanistan "to make sure we can have an orderly and safe drawdown of US personnel and other allied personnel and an orderly and safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during our mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance," in a statement Saturday.

The authorization includes troops already on the ground in country, according to a defense official.

Biden on Saturday approved the additional direct deployment of a battalion of 1,000 troops from the 82nd Airborne Division directly in Kabul, instead of their original standby position in Kuwait.

The decision by Biden brings the total number of US troops in Kabul up to 5,000. The Pentagon had previously announced 3,000 additional troops were on their way, and approximately 1,000 troops had already been in Kabul for some time, the defense official said.

The 82nd Airborne troops redirected to Kabul were originally going to be part of up to 4,000 troops from the same division going to Kuwait on standby, to be used if needed.

The bulk of troops are expected in Kabul by the end of the weekend.

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