On Tuesday, Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby downplayed the plight of nearly 200 Americans trapped in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, saying U.S. citizens “get stranded … all the time.”
Kirby said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he did not really see “a military role” going forward, adding that the diplomatic mission was one that American officials had undertaken in the past. “We have Americans that get stranded in countries all the time and we do everything we can to try to facilitate safe passage,” he said.
Up to 200 Americans and thousands of Afghans trying to leave the clutches of the Taliban are stranded in Afghanistan. Their exit from the country is complicated by the Taliban’s complete control of the nation, including the capital city of Kabul and its airport. The terrorist group has reportedly hanged Afghan interpreters who assisted the United States military efforts over the past two decades.
How does diplomacy get those [American citizens] out of the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan?
Kirby: it’s not completely unlike the way we do it elsewhere around the world. We have Americans that get stranded in countries all the time pic.twitter.com/07k9Ze6Vt1
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) August 31, 2021
Just last week White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki insisted Americans are not stranded in Afghanistan.
“First of all, I think it’s irresponsible to say Americans are stranded. They are not,” Psaki said to Peter Doocy. “We are committed to bringing Americans who want to come home, home.”
The Pentagon is claiming 200 Americans are still in Afghanistan but the math just isn’t adding up.
A couple of weeks ago Fox News host Sean Hannity reported there maybe tens of thousands of Americans in Afghanistan and only 6,000 have been evacuated.
Efforts to evacuate the remaining Americans have also been complicated by the Taliban’s seizure of advanced U.S. weapons and vehicles left behind at the Kabul airport.