As evacuation efforts continue in Afghanistan, the White House is signaling Americans may be left behind in order to comply with the self-imposed Aug. 31 deadline and an agreement with the Taliban.
What are the details?
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked Tuesday how the Biden administration would respond to Americans stranded in Afghanistan beyond the Aug. 31 deadline.
"Would this trigger a diplomatic, military, all-hands-on-deck-type thing to get that person out, whatever the date?" a reporter asked.
"Our commitment continues to be to U.S. citizens: If they want to leave, we will help get them out," Psaki responded.
When asked if that means the administration will act beyond the Aug. 31 deadline, Psaki admitted the White House believes some Americans will be stranded.
"Again, we expect there could be some, but I don't — I'm not going to get into it further," she said.
One wonders, however, why that message was sent if the Biden administration intends on evacuating every American from the Taliban-controlled country.
How many Americans are left?
The Pentagon said Wednesday that more than 4,000 Americans have been evacuated since Aug. 14; that number accounts for only about 5% of all people evacuated from Afghanistan since the crisis began, which the Pentagon said was more than 80,000.
An official who spoke with the Daily Caller said the actual number of Americans in Afghanistan was probably around 12,000. That means if only several hundred Americans are being evacuated per day, as indicated by the Pentagon's daily numbers, then thousands of Americans would be left behind in Afghanistan if Biden sticks to his Aug. 31 deadline, which he has promised to do.
The Taliban have rejected the possibility of agreeing to a deadline extension.