President Joe Biden’s White House has battled negative press over the Afghanistan debacle for weeks now, and as the Aug. 31 deadline to have all U.S. citizens, troops, and allies out of the country, the pressure on the White House to pull off a victory is mounting.
According to the Washington Examiner, during a Tuesday press conference, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was challenged by Fox News’ Peter Doocy on Americans still left stranded in Afghanistan, pointing to a particular instance revealed earlier on the network of an American woman who said she was stranded. Psaki then asked the press to help the White House coordinate any rescues of Americans.
“Send them to me directly, and I will get it to the right place. We are absolutely committed to this. This is an across the government commitment,” Psaki told reporters.
What’s going on?
Psaki, who like other top Biden officials, was further pressed on how many Americans were left on the ground in Afghanistan, a number that for unknown reasons, isn’t being disclosed.
She attempted to explain that Americans aren’t required to register or de-register when traveling to Afghanistan or anywhere else abroad.
After an exchange on Monday with Doocy over his use of the term “stranded” to describe Americans on the ground in Afghanistan who haven’t had any luck getting to the airport, Psaki admitted on Tuesday that there could be Americans who have been unable to contact proper American authorities to arrange their escape.
In turn, Psaki then asked Doocy to provide her the contact information for a particular American woman who told Fox & Friends First on Tuesday morning that she was, in fact, stranded.
“Give me their contact information, and we will get in touch with them. If any of you are hearing from American citizens who can’t reach us, give me their contact information, and we will get in contact with them,” Psaki said.
Sense of urgency
The deadline to get U.S. citizens and forces, along with Afghan allies, out of the country was reinforced by Taliban leadership this week. If the U.S. were to extend the deadline, Taliban leaders have already threatened retaliation.
According to the New York Post, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Taliban are no longer “in favor of allowing Afghans to leave,” adding, “The road to Kabul airport is closed for locals and open to foreigners.”
After the Aug. 31 deadline, Taliban leaders have stated that they will assume security duties at Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Only time will tell how bad this situation actually gets, but Biden’s White House appears to be in panic mode, and the situation on the ground in Afghanistan will almost certainly worsen before this all ends.