Estimates from media companies are rolling in reporting that anywhere between 10,000 and 40,000 American citizens remain trapped in Afghanistan as of Tuesday.
The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin reported that an administration official who wasn’t permitted to speak on record informed him that there’s still an estimated 10,000 Americans in the country with the majority of them being in or close to Kabul. Several are residents, aid workers or journalists. He added that most are trying desperately to escape. Some of the people have dual citizenship or are the children of American parents who don’t have passports and visas themselves, but the State Department has yet to instruct them on how to correct their paperwork.
The White House declared that only 700 Americans would be evacuated as of Tuesday, with 150 rescued on Monday, but the Daily Mail reported that as many as 40,000 Americans may yet be stranded in Afghanistan under the new Taliban regime.
Per a WH official:
Hamid Karzai Airport is open, and flights are able to land and depart. 3,500 troops on the ground at HKAI. Flights are departing today with US citizens and Embassy personnel, 700 people, including 150 Americans were evacuated yesterday.
— Kellan Howell (@kellanhowell) August 17, 2021
President Joe Biden is taking major heat from the military for his careless and rapid exit from Afghanistan, and for failing to remove American assets before the withdrawal process came so close to completion.
Air operations have resumed at Kabul airport, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby says.
— New Day (@NewDay) August 17, 2021
A military official spoke to Reuters, stating that in truth there was “a lot more” that could have been done to help the situation but that Biden’s administration instead “waited too long… every decision [came] too late.” He said that the situation collapsed on itself as reactionary decisions were continually issued rather than a proactive, organized plan.
Reuter’s source added, and was backed up by another official, that the planning of the Biden administration was so terrible that it misjudged the severity of the situation in Kabul and flew in new diplomats to Kabul last week even while the Taliban was advancing on the capital.
Biden issued half-hearted apologies on Monday for the utter chaos that Afghanistan is left in, but shoved off all responsibility for the failures in the withdrawal process. He even defended his choice to leave Afghanistan.
Author: Josh McCormick