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Finally: Pentagon Ratcheting Up Efforts to Get Americans Out of Afghanistan
But why now, and why the long delay?
By Robert Spencer
Without bothering to give its hapless readers any reminders about how and why Americans got stuck in Afghanistan in the first place, NBC News reported Monday that “the Pentagon is stepping up efforts to get family members of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, creating a database of the dozens who are trapped there.”
That’s terrific, but why now? Why the long delay in moving on this? And why was priority placed on bringing unvetted and unvettable Afghans into the United States rather than getting the Americans out? As usual with Biden’s handlers, no useful answers are forthcoming.
NBC noted that on Thursday, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl “issued a memo asking any U.S. military personnel and DOD civilians with immediate family members who need help leaving Afghanistan to email his office.” Wonderful, but why did it take him two months since the American military withdrawal to do this?
The NBC report also states that “there are still several dozen immediate family members of U.S. service members in Afghanistan, according to defense officials. Those include children, sisters and brothers, and parents. There are well over 100 extended family members still in Afghanistan, but it’s not clear how many of them want to leave the country, the officials said.” Kahl’s new memo demonstrates, according to the unnamed defense official that NBC quotes, “a more deliberate effort at the DOD level” to get these people out. “There is an increased desire to make sure that as we make this push that we have every situation accounted for.”
However, even as this new effort is being made, “the Pentagon does not have a good accounting of how many DOD civilians still have immediate family members in Afghanistan, the officials said.”
That’s inexcusable, as these people are severely threatened. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin: “Over the past month, I have been contacted by hundreds of Texans who are desperately trying to get friends and family members safe out of the country. That includes the family members of several Texans who currently serve in the military. The federal government has turned their backs on them. If we abandon the family members of our service men and women in Afghanistan, they will certainly be slaughtered by the Taliban.”
That’s certainly true, but Biden’s handlers had other priorities. 70,000 Afghan evacuees are already in the U.S., and the total number is expected to exceed 124,000 before long. The foolishness of this, and the howling injustice of prioritizing getting these people out before rescuing all the Americans in the country, is already becoming apparent: one of Biden’s handlers, unnamed in a late October Wall Street Journal report, has admitted that ten of these evacuees have already been detained as risks to national security.
There will be more of that sort of thing. In mid-October, a delegation led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) arrived at Doha’s Al Udeid Air Base for a briefing on the efforts to get Americans and our allies out of Afghanistan. The briefing, said Issa, was “shocking to a lot of members.” It was shocking because the lawmakers were told that fully 12,000 of the Afghans who had come to Camp As Sayliyah and then went on to the U.S. had no identification at all. Issa stated: “They came with nothing. No Afghan I.D., no I.D. of any sorts. Those people were all forwarded on to the U.S., and that’s quite an admission. So many people had no I.D. whatsoever and yet find themselves in the United States today based on what they said.”
As terrible as this was, it is was in line with what we already knew. Back on September 1, according to Politico, “a State Department official said in a private briefing to reporters that ‘the majority’ of special immigrant visa applicants were left in Afghanistan due in part to the complications of the evacuation, and that he and his team are ‘haunted’ by the evacuees the U.S. could not get out by the Aug. 31 deadline.”
So now it is the second week of November, and there are still Americans trapped in Afghanistan, while there are hundreds of Afghans, natives of a jihadi hotspot, who have walked off bases and are now somewhere in the United States, but no one knows where. What’s more, there are thousands of others who are here or on their way here, about whom we know absolutely nothing. Could they be jihad terrorists? We’re likely to find out eventually.
And as this fiasco is unfolding, Biden’s handlers are only now starting to get to work on getting the remaining Americans out of Afghanistan. If there weren’t so much other evidence of the malevolence and incompetence of this administration, all this might actually be shocking.