Biden administration officials are proud of their effort to airlift about 118,000 Afghans, plus somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 U.S. citizens, from the Kabul airport in the final days of the president’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. But still unanswered are two key questions: One, who did we leave behind? And two, who did we bring out?
The administration would prefer you did not ask those questions. The spin out of the White House is that the president is ready to move on, to turn the page after the mess in Afghanistan. But that will not be possible, at least for a while.
On the first question, White House chief of staff Ron Klain now says the number of U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan is lower than earlier thought. “We believe it’s around 100,” Klain said recently. “We’re in touch with all of them who we have identified on a regular basis.”
Klain also made clear that the United States is now dependent on the assistance of others to help U.S. citizens in Afghanistan. “We’re hopeful that, in the coming days, the Qataris will be able to resume air service out of Kabul,” he said. “And if they do, we’re obviously going