House Democrat Acknowledges: Biden Administration ‘Did Leave a Lot of People Behind’ in Afghanistan
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) said Tuesday he believed the United States left “a lot” of people behind when armed forces departed from Afghanistan in August.
He made the comment in a segment with CNN’s Jim Sciutto, who played a clip of an Afghan father interviewed by the network’s Anna Koren. “There is no work,” he noted. “No income. … Sometimes we have nothing to eat.”
In reference to the clip, Sciutto asked Gallego, “Is the Biden administration, in your view — is the U.S. failing Afghanistan here?”
“I think a lot of us are doing our best,” Gallego said, before addressing the prospect of sending U.S. aid to the country’s Taliban government. “The last thing you want to do — usually what happens when you have warlordism occurring — is that when you send aid to the actual warlords, such as the Taliban, [they’ll] use that for control and end up lining their pockets. So we want to work with NGOs and other organizations that will actually feed these kids, we want to make sure it’s tied … you know, to women [who] can go to school.”
He added: “We have to make sure the Taliban lives up to its requirements. We did leave a lot of people behind. And if they want us to help support their government, then they have to give us their assurances, number one, that they aren’t going to be an al Qaeda safe haven. And number two, that they’re going to stop hunting all of our allies that helped us during the war.”
The Biden administration claimed in September that around 200 Americans were left in Afghanistan when the U.S. withdrew in August. But White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week the administration had helped 479 Americans depart the country, while reports have indicated that at least a dozen remain. Similarly, the State Department estimated that a “majority” of Afghan allies to the U.S. were left behind.
Watch above via CNN.
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