WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Almost two months after the United States withdrew its troops from Afghanistan after 20 years of war, more than 300 American citizens remain in the country, now under Taliban control.
This number is almost triple the initial estimate of the federal government.
The Biden administration and the Pentagon say they are working to get these Americans out of Afghanistan.
“We are aware of the concerns some of our members have about their family members, absolutely,” Defense Department press secretary John Kirby said. “(There is a) inter-institutional effort to find a safe passage for these people to the best of our ability.”
But he said repatriation efforts will not lead the United States to return troops to Afghanistan.
Instead, the US State Department relies on diplomatic deals with the Taliban, with press secretary Ned Price saying the US insists the Taliban maintain “the right of free passage for those who wish to leave Afghanistan ”.
Kirby added that American partners in the region will be essential to evacuate the Americans.
That’s not good enough for Republicans on Capitol Hill, who continue to criticize the Biden administration’s exit strategy.
“Hundreds of Americans are still in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, President (Joe) Biden and the Democrats are trying to push through trillions in new tax hikes, ”Representative Greg Murphy, RS.C., told the House.
“What are their priorities? A new gender strategy, ”he added. “Are you kidding me?”
The United States also continues to work with nonprofits to help thousands of Afghan refugees who have fled their homeland as the United States pulls out and the West-backed Afghan government collapses in front of the Taliban.
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