The number of people left in Afghanistan who hold American passports is small, but it led Republicans to allege that President Joe Biden has abandoned or stranded them.
This has led many Americans to ask: Who would want to stay? What possible reason would someone have to remain in the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan? The reality is a little more nuanced.
An NBC News report explained that the remaining citizens are most "nuanced and complicated cases: individuals with dual citizenship and deep roots in Afghanistan; those with large extended families including non-citizens. . . ; or those who waited until very late in the process to express their interest in leaving."
There are NGOs still on the ground in the country desperately trying to help the people there as they struggle through another transition.
"Efforts now to evacuate those remaining Americans will depend on a diplomatic pressure campaign that will test the administration's belief that it holds significant leverage over the Taliban to ensure their continued cooperation," said NBC.
President Joe Biden made it clear that the U.S. will do whatever it takes to get people out who want to escape. The next steps for that mission will be more complicated than the past month.
Officials on the ground described the past few weeks as a "rolling, 24/7 operation" to find the Americans who said they wanted to leave. They made 55,000 phone calls, sent 33,000 emails. According to those familiar with the process, they asked three questions: Where are you? Do you want to leave now? And do you need help getting to the airport?
It was revealed that the U.S. military even created a secret gate in the airport so that Americans could get there without attacks by ISIS.