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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the State Department is committed to looking at everything that’s happened between the U.S. and Afghanistan diplomatically “from day one through the present, and to draw lessons from it.”
Watch the briefing in the player above.
Blinken said across the State Department, the entire 20-year history of the U.S. engagement in Afghanistan should be looked at “to ask the right questions and learn the right lessons from that.”
Blinken said approximately 100 Americans remain in Afghanistan and case management teams have been assigned for each individual who has expressed an interest in leaving.
“These are almost exclusively people who have been living in Afghanistan for years, for decades, in some cases for for all their lives, and Afghanistan is home. And so it’s especially wrenching for them to make the decision about whether to leave or not.”
He said the State Department is in close contact with these people, “and there’s absolutely no deadline on this work.”
Blinken did not give an estimate of how many SIV (Special Immigrant Visa) applicants remain in Afghanistan, but he said the program was never intended to be used during an evacuation efffort.
“There are lessons here that we need to learn. We will learn even as our work continues, ways to make the program run more efficiently, more effectively.”
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