The Biden administration was forced to close the Kabul airport as the chaotic, catastrophically planned evacuation of American citizens from Afghanistan is overwhelming state department employees with too much paperwork.
There are thousands of people — mostly Afghan civilians who collaborated with the U.S. military — waiting at the airport to be rescued. According to the British military, seven Afghans have died at the airport from the heat and the crush of people.
Can it get any worse? Why yes. Yes, it can.
New info on the ground in Kabul: Taliban militants are now starting to charge people for "escorts," for safe passage to the airport. The price is said to range from $1,000 to $3,000, per person.
— Sasha Ingber (@SashaIngber) August 22, 2021
ISIS has issued a warning to Americans looking to leave Afghanistan. This precipitated a warning from the U.S. embassy for Americans to avoid going to the airport.
Does Biden expect people to walk home from Afghanistan?
Do you want “worse”? How about the Pentagon not knowing what the State Department is doing?
This is a complete disaster on every single level. https://t.co/Pxyet0ITcN
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) August 22, 2021
The threat from ISIS is being taken very seriously. Islamic State would like nothing better than to embarrass their mortal enemies, the Taliban by sending a suicide bomber into the densely packed crowds at the airport.
The Pentagon has been analyzing the events in and around the area, CNN reported. The main concern at the moment is that the large crowds gathering around the airport and surrounding areas could create a situation in which ISIS can attack. The most pressing concerns seem to be about potential suicide bombers and car bombers, CNN reported.
“There’s a whole canopy of security concerns we have,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said at a press briefing Saturday, as he described the military “fighting against both time and space” in its effort to safely evacuate people.
But it appears that the president shut the airport in order to allow the bureaucrats to catch up with the paperwork.
The US State Department announced it was closing the airport for at least 48 hours to concentrate on processing the hundreds already inside.
With the scenes outside the besieged airport growing ever more desperate, the US military had resorted to dispatching helicopters into the Afghan capital to ferry terrified evacuees unable to reach the terminal.
On Saturday afternoon it locked the airport gates, saying no more people would be allowed in until the huge backlog of refugees and fleeing nationals had been cleared.
The situation is deteriorating every day. Thousands of Americans still need to be evacuated and before it was shut down, huge cargo planes capable of holding hundreds of evacuees were taking off from the airport with only a handful of people on board.
Evacuations continued from the Kabul airport on Saturday after a backlog of evacuees caused an 8 hour pause in flights on Friday. The subsequent chaos caused empty flights last night, with two flights carrying just seven and eight people. pic.twitter.com/0DZZ5v0vYL
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 21, 2021
The administration has activated a little-known law that would give the government the power to order civilian airlines to supply them with airlift capability.
The Department of Defense will compel commercial airlines to help with the evacuation of Afghans and U.S. personnel from Afghanistan, the third time that the U.S. has activated what is known as the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF).
Eighteen aircraft will be used, including 3 from American Airlines, 3 from Delta Air Lines, 3 from Atlas Air, 3 from Omni Air, 2 from Hawaiian Airlines and 4 from United Airlines. The planes will not be going to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement, but will transport people from “temporary safe havens and interim staging bases.”
Begging your pardon, Mr. President, but shouldn’t all this planning have been done before you allowed the Taliban to walk into Kabul?
In truth, the civilian planes would not be flying to Kabul. They would be picking up evacuees at our bases in Qatar, Bahrain, and Germany and ferry them…somewhere. The Americans will go home, of course, but what about the 20,000 Afghans who are on the way? If the evacuation had been accomplished competently, those Afghan collaborators would have been sent to nations that helped the coalition efforts. That’s not likely to happen now.
Who the hell is in charge?