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Not ‘Going to Be Possible' to Get All Americans Out of Afghanistan, Warns Ex-Advisor to U.S. Special Operations

Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan
Sgt. Samuel Ruiz | U.S. Marine Corps | via Reuters
  • Seth Jones, a former advisor to U.S. special operations in Afghanistan, told CNBC he does not think the U.S. will be able to remove the nearly 1,500 Americans still left in Afghanistan before the Aug. 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden.
  •  "No, I don't think it's going to be possible to get them all out, I mean, the challenge is the Taliban control all the major roadways, they control all the major cities," said Jones.

Seth Jones, a former advisor to U.S. special operations in Afghanistan, told CNBC that he does not think the U.S. will be able to remove the nearly 1,500 Americans still left in Afghanistan before the Aug. 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden.

"No, I don't think it's going to be possible to get them all out, I mean, the challenge is the Taliban control all the major roadways, they control all the major cities," said Jones, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "So, I think this will probably continue for some time, more along the lines of the U.S. using clandestine forces to try to get additional ones out."

In the past 24 hours, Western forces evacuated 19,000 people out of Kabul on 90 military cargo aircraft flights, a cadence of one departure flight every 39 minutes, according to the Pentagon.

The Biden administration has not provided the total number of Americans and Afghan nationals that it is aiming to evacuate in just six days. 

The State Department has given 500 of the 1,500 Americans specific instructions on how to reach Hamid Karzai International Airport safely. The U.S. is still trying to contact the remaining 1,000, though the number who actually want to leave may be lower, according to the State Department.

Jones told "The News with Shepard Smith" that the presence of U.S. forces has kept the numbers of ISIS-K, an Afghanistan-based affiliate of the terror group, down. Now, however, Jones said that without the pressure from U.S. forces the terror group will return.   

"It's now able to resurge in eastern Afghanistan and parts of the north, and it's built cell structures in various cities, so I think we're going to see a much more violent Afghanistan, including by groups like ISIS-K," said Jones.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

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