The government can’t seem to get its story straight with respect to how many Americans are still in Afghanistan. As we move further away from the chaotic and deadly withdrawal in August, the Biden administration’s story on Americans trapped behind Taliban lines continues to change.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon stated that they estimate nearly 450 American citizens remain in Afghanistan. That number is higher than the previously reported 363 remaining Americans recently claimed by Biden’s State Department.
So why is the American public getting conflicting accounts? Are key government agencies not coordinating on this effort? Does the U.S. government even know how many Americans were in Afghanistan at the time of its calamitous withdrawal?
It appears this is not a simple question that even America’s top leaders can answer.
On Tuesday, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, along with other Pentagon officials, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) pressed on the issue of “contradictory” and “confusing” numbers coming from the Biden administration.
He pointed out that they consistently maintained that there were only 100-200 Americans still in Afghanistan since the withdrawal of troops.
Inhofe pointed out that:
“One of the many confusing things about this whole thing is that we really don’t know how many Americans are left in Afghanistan. The administration’s number of U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan keeps changing. We all understand that. It’s very confusing.”
The number 439 given by Undersecretary Kahl is obviously higher than what the State Department told congressional staff earlier this month.
Fox reported that the State Department briefed congressional staff – giving the figure of 363 still left behind.
So, what’s the right count?
On Friday State Department spokesman Ned Price quoted the number of Americans who “wished to leave” at a “fluid” 100-200 once again.
Since the beginning of the unceremonious withdrawal of American forces from 20 years of war in Afghanistan, the process has been one debacle after another, including the deaths of 13 American servicemen in a terrorist attack.
While the State Department tries to figure out how many Americans are actually trapped in Afghanistan, they have been busy celebrating “International Pronouns Day and creating genderless U.S. passports.
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