In one more example of the Biden administration’s feckless retreat from Afghanistan, Americans stranded in the country are not getting any assistance in getting to the evacuation point. CBS News reports that about half of the Americans in the country on the State Department list are receiving calls to go to the evacuation point. They are getting instructions on how to go to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. However, the U.S. will not be helping with transportation.
CBS learned from an unnamed congressional aide that there are no in-country partners to assist the Americans to get safely to Kabul. The aide told the news outlet that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 American citizens in the country. This group includes contractors and other non-military personnel not located in the capital city. There are also tens of thousands of Afghans with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) and P2 Visas.
Americans in Afghanistan received an explicit message from the administration that read:
To American Citizens,
Thank you for registering your request to be evacuated from Afghanistan. The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has confirmed that an undefined number of U.S. govern1nentprovided fligl1ts will begin soon. Please make your way to Hamid Karzai International Airport at this time.
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR SECURITY AS YOU MAKE THIS TRIP.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki reinforced this message. She said it was a ” day by day ” effort when a reporter asked about getting Americans out of Afghanistan after August 31. She said the goal was to get “as many American citizens, as many SIV applicants and as many members of vulnerable populations who are eligible to be evacuated to the airport and out on planes.”
Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki can’t offer any guarantee that all Americans will be evacuated from Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/0XKueyBXCg
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 17, 2021
Earlier, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also refused to answer whether American troops would remain in Afghanistan after August 31 if American citizens were still in the country. Sullivan also said that the Taliban has informed the U.S. they will provide the safe passage of civilians to the airport and that he believes they will. August 31 is the official withdrawal date.
The administration reported evacuating 700 people in the last 24 hours. To remove the tens of thousands who are waiting at that rate would take weeks. They plan to increase that amount to 5,000 to 9,000 a day but provided no specific plans to accomplish this in the current chaos.
When President Biden spoke to the nation yesterday, he did not answer a single question about the withdrawal. He made a case for leaving Afghanistan, which many Americans agree with. However, few are satisfied with the execution at this point. Biden never mentioned the scenes at the airport as thousands of Afghans tried to force their way onto planes. The crowds on the tarmac prevented our military aircraft from leaving for a period of time.
President Biden did say the administration warned the Taliban not to interfere with America’s evacuation effort. He added that any violence against Americans would be dealt with swiftly and severely. Today, the administration’s communications do not show that is confident the U.S. can guarantee anyone’s safety in Afghanistan. Including American citizens.