WH official ‘literally horrified’ about Americans left behind in Afghanistan

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President Joe Biden

In the wake of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, one White House official was left “appalled and literally horrified,” by the Biden administration being unable to get all Americans out of the embattled country, per a new report. 

“I am absolutely appalled and literally horrified we left Americans there,” the administration official told Politico. “It was a hostage rescue of thousands of Americans in the guise of a NEO [noncombatant evacuation operations], and we have failed that no-fail mission.”

A separate White House official told the outlet that the mission wasn’t accomplished if Americans were left behind.

The report came Tuesday, the day that marked the end the end of America’s longest war, which lasted 19 years and 47 weeks, cost some $2 trillion and took the lives of nearly 2,500 US troops and about 240,000 Afghans.

Since Aug. 14, US troops helped evacuate 79,000 civilians on US military aircrafts — including 6,000 Americans and 73,500 Afghans and third-country citizens, per US officials. 

families walk towards their flight during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan
Afghan families walk toward their flight during evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/U.S. Marine Corps via AP, File

However, several hundred Americans remain in the embattled country following the withdrawal, according to the Pentagon, which pointed out that many chose to stay. 

On Monday, President Biden appeared committed to helping remove any Americans who “want to leave Afghanistan” following the deadline. 

“I have asked the Secretary of State to lead the continued coordination with our international partners to ensure safe passage for any Americans, Afghan partners, and foreign nationals who want to leave Afghanistan,” he said. “

President Joe Biden
One White House official was “appalled and literally horrified” by the Biden adminitration.
REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

This will include work to build on the UN Security Council Resolution passed this afternoon that sent the clear message of what the international community expects the Taliban to deliver on moving forward, notably freedom of travel.”

“The Taliban has made commitments on safe passage and the world will hold them to their commitments.”

While the president and defense officials have lauded the evacuation efforts, thousands of Afghan allies remain in the country, as well as the American citizens. 

On Wednesday, a senior State Department official reportedly told NBC News that the “majority” of Afghans who worked with the US government throughout the war in Afghanistan didn’t make it out.

Despite calling the evacuation efforts “historic” and “heroic,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin admitted on Wednesday that “no operation is ever perfect,” adding that the Department of Defense will perform after action reviews and “learn every lesson” possible in the coming days.

The White House did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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