- U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken says 'under 200, likely closer to 100' Americans wishing to leave remain in Afghanistan after U.S. withdrawal.
- “Our credibility is rock-bottom, and it's one thing to leave, but we did worse than that, we left American citizens, green card holders and people that risked their lives for us behind, that's nothing short of shameful,” said Mary Beth Long, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.
Former defense official Mary Beth Long warned about the precarious state of the U.S. credibility after Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed there were less than 200 Americans still seeking evacuation from Afghanistan following the final U.S. military withdrawal from the Taliban-controlled country.
"Our credibility is rock-bottom, and it's one thing to leave, but we did worse than that, we left American citizens, green card holders, and people that risked their lives for us behind, that's nothing short of shameful," said Long, who served under President George W. Bush as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. "I wouldn't trust us, if I were in their position."
U.S. Central Command leader Marine Corps General Kenneth McKenzie told reporters during a briefing Monday afternoon in Washington that while all U.S. troops were successfully evacuated, the same could not be said for U.S. citizens.
"There's a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure," McKenzie said. "We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out."
Blinken said later Monday that "a new diplomatic mission has begun," in Afghanistan.
Long told CNBC's "The News with Shepard Smith" that the assessment is "a fallacy" due to the burgeoning terror networks in the country.
"We've already known and been told by ISIS-K, by the Haqqani network, we have Al Qaeda operators coming through, over the border just a couple of hours ago," said Long. "The idea that somehow the Taliban are magically going to run Afghanistan and we're going to have some kind of political agreement with them is just pure fantasy."
Blinken added that the U.S. had suspended its diplomatic presence in Kabul and will transfer those operations to Doha, Qatar.
When asked for comment, the U.S. State Department referred CNBC to its Wednesday press briefing, during which Ambassador Victoria Nuland called the cooperation with the Taliban during the evacuation "a far cry from a formal recognition."