Pentagon Spox: 'We Have Americans That Get Stranded in Countries All the Time'

Biden admin sees no need for ‘military role’ in rescuing nearly 200 Americans

August 31, 2021

Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby on Tuesday downplayed the plight of nearly 200 Americans trapped in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, saying U.S. citizens "get stranded ... all the time."

"It’s not completely unlike the way we do it elsewhere around the world," Kirby told MSNBC. "We have Americans that get stranded in countries all the time, and we do everything we can to facilitate safe passage." He added that the Biden administration does not "see a military role right now."

Up to 200 Americans and thousands of Afghans trying to leave the clutches of the Taliban are stranded in Afghanistan. Their exit from the country is complicated by the Taliban’s complete control of the nation, including the capital city of Kabul and its airport. Efforts to evacuate the remaining Americans have also been complicated by the Taliban's seizure of advanced U.S. weapons and vehicles left behind at the Kabul airport.

Update 9/1/21 at 11:34 a.m.: This piece has been updated.