Pentagon press secretary John Kirby is downplaying the fact that Americans have been left stranded in Afghanistan until Taliban control by saying that our citizens get stranded in foreign countries “all the time.”
During an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Kirby said that there is not really “a military role” in saving the people who are left there.
“We have Americans that get stranded in countries all the time and we do everything we can to try to facilitate safe passage,” Kirby said.
The Pentagon press secretary was asked if he could pinpoint how many Americans were left stranded and he claimed that the number who actually want to leave is believed to be “in the low hundreds.”
“Do you expect you’ll have a role in getting those people out of the country?” MSNBC host Willie Geist asked.
“We don’t really see a military role right now,” Kirby replied, explaining that they expect there to be more diplomatic dealings instead of boots on the ground.
“So what does that look like? How does diplomacy get those people out of the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan?” Geist asked.
Kirby said that they will “do everything they can to try to facilitate safe passage,” including “leverage tools we have available to hold them to account.” The press secretary did not expand on what those tools are.
“We have Americans that get stranded in countries all the time and we do everything we can to try to facilitate safe passage and we have made it clear what our expectations are to the Taliban,” Kirby replied. “And if the Taliban want to govern, and they say they do … we’re going to hold them to their deeds not just words so there are leverage tools we have available to us to hold them to account. But that’s the effort. It’s going to be a whole of government effort but I don’t see a military role at this time.”