As the Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan comes to an end, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CBS News’ Ed O’Keefe that there were still three hundred Americans that needed to be evacuated from Afghanistan.
“There are a few hundred Americans left this weekend in Afghanistan that the State Department is aware of that want to get out of the country,” O’Keefe asked. “Will they all get out by Tuesday?”
“What we are doing right now, Ed, is working one by one with those individuals and their families to direct them to a rally point near the airport to come into the airport and to get on the planes and go home,” Sullivan responded. “We have the capacity to have 300 Americans, which is roughly the number we think are remaining, come to the airport and get on planes in the time that is remaining.”
“We moved out more than that number just yesterday,” Sullivan continued. “So from our point of view, there is an opportunity right now for American citizens to come, to be admitted to the airport and to be evacuated safely and effectively.”
Sullivan claimed that the Biden administration could ensure the United States would be able to evacuate the last Americans because the U.S. has “leverage” over the Taliban.
“This isn’t about reliance,” he said. “This is about ensuring that we use the leverage we have available to us, and it is considerable, to hold the Taliban to its commitments. The Taliban have both communicated privately and publicly that they will allow for safe passage.”
“We’re not just going to take their word for it,” Sullivan continued. “We’ve rallied dozens of countries from around the world to stand with us in saying to the Taliban that if they do not follow through on those commitments, there will be significant consequences. And the leverage we have, the economic leverage and the other forms of leverage we continue to possess, we believe will be effective in ensuring that we ca get out other people who want to come out after the 31st of August.”