December 17, 2021

Americans Still Stranded in Afghanistan

  • Executive

By: Konrad Holden

In Brief: 
On Tuesday, reporters asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki why there are still Americans left in Afghanistan. The press secretary replied that the State Department is still committed to helping Americans get out just as they said back in August. Psaki said that the administration has delivered on its promise to get any American out that wants to leave despite the fact that some Americans still remain.

The Background: 
In August, after the disastrous withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban swept in and took control of the country in a few short days. At the time, Biden said that they estimated around 100-200 Americans were still stranded in the country.

On Monday, the Biden administration announced that they had evacuated nearly 500 Americans from Afghanistan and that there are still under a dozen who want to leave. 

Reporters grilled Jen Psaki about this reality and she only reiterated that the administration is committed to helping anyone get out of the country who wants to.

Instead of taking responsibility for the withdrawal, Psaki praised the administration for assisting almost 1000 citizens, lawful permanent residents, and Special Immigrants Visa holders or applicants.

"I would note that since that time, we have directly assisted 479 American citizens, 450 lawful permanent residents and [Special Immigrant Visas] for holders and SIV applicants," Psaki said. 

Notable Quotes: 

"Let me just reiterate something that Tony Blinken said back in August, which is that if Americans who are in Afghanistan wanted to leave, whether it was three weeks, a month from now, two months from now – back in August – we would help them get out. And that is something we have delivered on our word on." - Press Secretary Jen Psaki

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