US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in an interview on Sunday with CBS’s Face the Nation discussed the evolving relationship between Washington and the Afghan Taliban. Three things emerged.
First, Sullivan disclosed that “over-the-horizon strikes” against ISIS-K from outside Afghanistan will continue, but he ruled out any return to combat missions.
Second, Sullivan claimed that after the complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan on August 31, “we will make sure there is safe passage for any American citizen, any legal permanent resident” as well as those Afghans who had served US interests.
He said the Taliban “have both communicated privately and publicly that they will allow for safe passage” and Washington has the leverage to make sure that they “follow through on those commitments.”
Third, and most important, while the US Embassy in Kabul is scheduled to shut on September 1, “we will have means and mechanisms of having diplomats on the ground there [in Kabul], be able to continue to process out these applicants, be able to facilitate the passage of other people who want to leave Afghanistan.”