Two months after the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan there are still 176 American citizens who are stranded in that country and waiting to return to the United States.
According to the Daily Caller, a State Department official told Congress that there are 363 American citizens in Afghanistan and at least half of them want to return home and have not been able to.
“One hundred seventy-six of those citizens are trying to leave the country,” two sources said according to CNN .
In addition to the number of Americans wishing to reach the United States, there are thousands of Afghan collaborators who helped the country in the war and still remain in Afghanistan hiding from the Taliban.
Inconsistency in the numbers
Now that an accurate number of Americans stranded in Afghanistan is known, the State Department’s lack of knowledge regarding the numbers of citizens after the withdrawal of U.S. troops is also evident.
It should be recalled that Secretary of State Antony Blinken went so far as to say that there were a “small number” of Americans still trying to leave, stating that “probably closer to 100”. However, last Thursday, October 21, State Department spokesman Ned Price tweeted that “234 citizens and 144 legal permanent residents had left Afghanistan since August 31.”
Why are there still Americans in Afghanistan?
When the Democratic administration announced that it would withdraw American troops it also said it would stay in Afghanistan until it was sure that all Americans and collaborators would be back in the United States. However, that did not happen, making the rescue of thousands of fellow Americans and collaborators an uphill struggle.
But in addition to the State Department’s constant complaints of bureaucracy, there is also another reason why not all Americans who wish to leave Afghanistan are able to do so.
“One of the restrictions they put on us was that you have to be an American citizen to be allowed to get on a plane, leave Afghanistan and come to the United States. The problem is that many of these citizens, after twenty years of being in Afghanistan, have families in Afghanistan. They have wives, they have children, even grandchildren. So the fact that they have not been able to open the doors a little bit more to allow the immediate family of these Americans to come and go through a normal immigration process before taking them out of the country is what has caused there to still be so many Americans there,” Republican Representative Mike Garcia explained to El American.