Politics

Biden Admin Under Pressure To Reveal Number Of Americans Still Stranded In Afghanistan

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Top Biden administration officials indicated Tuesday they would soon provide long-awaited details regarding the number of Americans still stranded in Afghanistan amid mounting bipartisan pressure to ensure that no American is left behind following the Taliban’s takeover.

While the Pentagon said about 4,000 American passport holders and their families have been evacuated during chaotic rescue operations, the White House has yet to reveal exactly how many Americans have been unable to leave. With President Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline just days away, administration officials have a “political incentive” to keep details vague, according to Nathan Sales, a former ambassador-at-large and counterterrorism coordinator at the U. S. State Department.

“I think the administration sees a real political vulnerability because the message ‘leave no person behind, leave no American behind’ is one that really resonates with the American people,” Sales, now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, told Fox News. “The smaller the denominator is, the less exposure they have to being criticized for failing to effectively evacuate vulnerable Americans.”

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The White House has faced mounting criticism over its failure to provide a precise figure. Several top administration officials, including Pentagon spokesman John Kirby and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, have said they did not know the number.

Biden addressed concerns about the ambiguity during his speech from the White House.

“I’ve asked Sec. Blinken to give you an update and a detailed report on exactly how many Americans are still in Afghanistan, how many have gotten out and what our projection is,” Biden said.

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The president said U. S. officials have evacuated 70,700 people since Aug. 14 and were “on a pace” to meet his Aug. 31 deadline – an assertion disputed by some within his own party. Earlier this week, House Intell… (Read more)

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