President Biden recently estimated that there are about 10,000-15,000 US nationals in Afghanistan, with all of them expected to be evacuated by 31 August, Washington’s deadline for its troop withdrawal. As many as 80,000 Afghans who assisted US and NATO forces during their occupation are also desperately searching for ways to leave the country.
Republican House and Senate Minority leaders Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell have asked for a classified briefing on the government’s plan to ensure safe passage for US citizens out of Afghanistan after the US Embassy in Kabul said that it cannot guarantee safe passage to the city’s airport.
Requesting a briefing from the “Gang of Eight,” the colloquial term used to refer to the eight leaders in US Congress who are briefed on classified intelligence matters by the executive branch of the government, McCarthy and McConnell said that they want the following information:
- The number and location of Americans in Afghanistan, and the methodology used to count and locate them.
- “The Taliban’s* security posture inside Kabul” and the ability of Americans to safely travel to the Hamid Karzai airport from inside the city.
- “The status of discussions with the Taliban to ensure the safety of US persons,” and the ability of US authorities to communicate with American nationals.
- “The Administration’s plan to evacuate US persons outside of Kabul who…