As President Joe Biden and his top military commanders pulled out of Afghanistan a day earlier than the Aug. 31 deadline, it was quickly revealed that a number of Americans had been left behind.
According to the Washington Examiner, on Sunday, White House chief of staff Ron Klain revealed during a CNN interview that “around 100” Americans remain in Afghanistan, a much lower number than what others have guessed.
It was unclear whether Klain was also taking into account the legal U.S. green card holders also stranded in the Taliban-controlled country, although given the low estimate, that figure likely wasn’t included in his assessment.
“We’re in touch”
Naturally, most of the media is still trying to dial in on how many Americans, exactly — or close to exactly — we still have on the ground, who are now potentially subject to the brutal laws and rule of the Taliban.
Klain insisted that the Biden White House has been in contact with Americans still behind enemy lines in Afghanistan.
“We believe it’s around a hundred. We’re in touch with all of them who we’ve identified on a regular basis,” Klain said.
He also said that the White House is “hopeful that in the coming days the Qataris will be able to resume air service out of Kabul,” while adding, “If they do, we’re obviously going to look to see if Americans can be part of those flights.”
“We are continuing to work on efforts to get them out by air as well. We’re going to continue to move those SIVs out of the country,” Klain said on Sunday, adding that the administration is aware that some of those who are stranded are attempting to escape the country via land routes as well.
Calls for impeachment
While the Biden administration promises it’s doing everything it can, through diplomatic channels at this point, to get all stranded Americans out of the country, it’s too little, too late in the eyes of a growing list of Republicans, many of whom have repeatedly called for the president to face impeachment.
“President Biden withdrew from #Afghanistan BEFORE THE DEADLINE — abandoning American citizens still on the ground desperately needing evacuation! IF BIDEN REFUSES TO RESIGN, HE MUST BE IMPEACHED! This is an absolute disgrace!” Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) said, according to the Daily Mail.
Other high-profile members of Congress, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), have called for the president’s impeachment, saying Biden is guilty of a “dereliction of duty” for leaving Americans behind.
Though it’s unlikely that Biden will be impeached with the current makeup of the House and Senate, after the 2022 midterms, when Republicans are expected to retake majority control in one or both chambers, it could be a whole new ballgame.