President Joe Biden pulled out of Afghanistan and left a wake of misery and destruction behind. Unfortunately, he also left Americans there to fend for themselves.
The Pentagon estimates there are 450 U.S. citizens still trapped in Afghanistan after the country has fallen back into Taliban control, the Daily Caller reported. It has been nearly two months since Biden completed the military retreat from the nation.
The administration previously had been cagey about providing the number of those left behind. As of Aug. 30, Secretary of State Antony Blinken would only own up to there being less than two hundred citizens stuck in Afghanistan.
However, during Tuesday’s Senate Committee on Armed Services hearing, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl admitted there was more than double that amount. “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,” he said.
“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,” he further added. That means at least 439 U.S. citizens are behind what’s turning into enemy lines — but there could be more.
“One of the many confusing things about this whole thing is that we really don’t know how many Americans are left in Afghanistan,” Kahl admitted when asked about the discrepancy. “That figure has risen in recent days as more Americans in Afghanistan have decided to depart in light of our successful facilitation of dozens of departures in recent weeks,” he further claimed in a Fox News report.
To leave any Americans behind is disgraceful, but especially so considering this is a tragedy Biden ordered up on all his own. Afghanistan was stable and Americans were no longer dying in combat. The U.S. earned itself a strategic military base in the Middle East.
Still, Biden became impatient for that perceived “win” of being the president that ended the decades-long conflict. What he got instead was a military defeat and a burgeoning humanitarian crisis.