News & Politics

The Biden Pentagon Doesn't Know How Many Americans Are Stuck in Kabul and Has No Plan to Rescue Any

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

On Wednesday the Biden state department issued a statement telling Americans in Afghanistan that they must get to Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul on their own to be processed and evacuated from the country. HKIA is surrounded by the Taliban, making ingress extremely dangerous. Their choice is to risk their lives to get there, or stay put, shelter in place, and run the risk of capture by the extremist Taliban, which will likely hold them for ransom, torture them, or kill them on video.

On Thursday, media pressed the Pentagon about related issues during a press briefing — namely, why U.S. personnel are not rescuing stranded Americans when British forces have been proactively saving stranded British citizens.

Fox New’s Jennifer Griffin said to Gen. Hank Taylor: “British paratroopers are leaving the airport, going into Kabul to rescue and evacuate some of their citizens who are trapped [and] can’t get to the airport because of the Taliban.”

Taylor said that the U.S. mission remains confined to securing HKIA. “At this time, our main mission continues to be to secure HKIA, to allow those American citizens and other SIVs to come in and be processed at the airfield.”

In other words, come to us because we are not equipped or allowed to come to you.

This is further evidence that Joe Biden has not provided enough troops to perform the mission that’s required. This hands the initiative to the Taliban, which they clearly realize. The Taliban is calling the shots and humiliating the United States.

A reporter asked Pentagon spokesman John Kirby if the government even knows how many Americans remain in the deteriorating country. His answer: “I don’t know.”

Then who does know?

Biden announced the withdrawal in April. What have the Pentagon and State Department done since then? Why did they not draw up lists of who was in country, and where, for the eventuality of the final exit, which they knew was imminent? Such lists should have been compiled kept safe on servers in the United States.

Related: British Parliament Holds Joe Biden in Contempt for Afghanistan Catastrophe

We know now that the military closed up Bagram Air Base on July 5 without notifying our allies. This decision all but destroyed the military’s operational ability in Afghanistan — that was the point of closing that base, after all. We also know that Biden blinded the Afghan military from U.S. intelligence support and grounded its air force by denying it maintenance. We also know that Biden’s administration shuttered a program built to rescue Americans in harm’s way a few weeks before the closure of Bagram. That program’s purpose was to prevent another Benghazi. Biden shut it down. Biden also ordered the withdrawal from Afghanistan during the fighting season and ahead of, not after, the 20th anniversary of 9-11.

These decisions along with Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan without regard for the facts on the ground have left Americans stranded and the U.S. military he deployed into Afghanistan without the support they need or the evident ability to perform the mission before them now. Joe Biden has essentially created an Alamo-style siege in the heart of a foreign country on the other side of the world that is controlled by one of the most violent enemies on the planet.

It’s possible that HKIA falls. It’s possible the Taliban captures some or all of it, along with those Americans and allies trapped inside. Then what? Biden keeps claiming they planned for all possible contingencies. Did they plan for that?

The American troops Biden hastily deployed there likely have confusing and highly defensive rules of engagement. They are not allowed to be proactive. They are depending on the good graces of the Taliban. The Taliban has the initiative, it has more personnel on the ground, and now, thanks to the hasty withdrawal, it even has U.S. military hardware to use against our troops. The main question is whether the Taliban wants to attack or wants to continue playing with Biden for sport—like a cat plays with a mouse. That’s a decision the Taliban’s command is likely discussing constantly inside the presidential palace they captured on Sunday. If they see an opportunity or strategic reason to attack HKIA, they will.

If anyone other than the president conducted the actions noted above, one would reasonably presume they constituted enemy action. They are that counterproductive to American interests. These are not merely poor decisions. They are among the most appalling and disastrous decisions that could possibly have been made. Joe Biden made them and he does not regret them. The alleged adult in the room just keeps walking away.