The Pentagon revealed on Tuesday that hundreds of American citizens remain trapped in Afghanistan to this date following the U.S. military’s August withdrawal.
The number of trapped Americans is roughly 450 – more than the Biden administration previously claimed as they tried to cover up the crisis.
The latest tally came from Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, after Republcian Sen. Jim Inhofe pointed to what he believed were contradictory or at least “confusing” numbers that the administration has presented since the August 31 withdrawal.
“One of the many confusing things about this whole thing is that we really don’t know how many Americans are left in Afghanistan,” Inhofe said. “The administration’s number of U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan keeps changing. We all understand that. It’s very confusing.”
Inhofe noted that the Biden administration “always said 100 to 200 U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan,” but now says it “has already withdrawn 234 and is in contact with 363 others, 176 of whom want to leave,” citing numbers the State Department provided last week.
“Now if we can figure this out you’re doing a lot better than I have done,” Inhofe said.
Kahl responded with a detailed breakdown of the numbers he had representing how many Americans were in Afghanistan and had gotten out, eventually leading to the number of those who remain.
“In terms of how many American citizens we estimate are currently in Afghanistan, the Department of State is in contact with 196 American citizens who are ready to depart –and arrangements are being made for them to do so, either via air or over ground – and another 243 American citizens have been contacted and are not ready to depart, either because they want to stay in Afghanistan or aren’t ready,” Kahl said.
This total of 439 American citizens still in Afghanistan is up from the 363 the State Department had told congressional staff last week – which itself was up from the estimate of roughly 100 the administration had said in September.
The stranded Americans have been trapped in Taliban controlled Afghanistan after Biden allowed the country to fall into the terror group’s grasp.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis and the fact that Americans are still stranded behind enemy lines a tragedy.
“This is tragic. I think [the Biden administration] clearly misled the American people, not only the president but the secretary of defense, as you talked about,“ Pompeo said during an appearance on Fox News.
“For the longest time, they talked about barely triple digits. We now know there are tens of thousands of people that have a right to return back to the United States of America. Our government has done almost nothing to bring them back. This is worse than just incompetence. This is an absence of caring about Americans and those who have a right to come to the United States of America. We’ve completely abandoned them. The president won’t even talk about these things.”
“We are not serious. We and our State Department Twitter feed today, we’re talking about intersectionality and pronouns when we’ve got Americans behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. This is this is deeply troubling, it is disconcerting. It is horrific to the family members of these people who are here in the United States. And we have a responsibility to get them back. I am now counting on private-sector efforts to do this … I hope the government will at least not get in the way of these private groups who are trying to get folks home.”
Author: George Martin