The U.S. State Department admitted that there are Americans in harm’s way in Afghanistan in a security alert issued to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Saturday.
“Because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport, we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so,” the State Department warned.
The Kabul International Airport has been a frantic scene for Americans citizens and Afghans seeking to flee the murderous wrath of the Taliban.
“For a bunch of American citizens and Afghans seeking to flee the Taliban Friday morning, a harrowing journey to Hamid Karzai International Airport and possible freedom began with a morning text message update alerting the travelers of Taliban concentrations and the best route to the airport, according to a group working on getting people out of Kabul,’ the Military Times reported.
“The airport, now the scene of America’s last stand in Afghanistan, closed once again overnight,” the Times continued. “Although the airfield is open again, the nearly eight-hour disruption in operations had a ripple effect, leading to chaos, punctuated by gunfire and tear gas, at gates to the airfield, according to Joe Saboe, a former Army infantry officer, whose group Team America has been working around the clock to assist evacuees.”
“Saboe was alerted to the harrowing scene at HKIA this morning around 12:30 p.m. Kabul time,” the Times added. “A group, including at least one American citizen, which Saboe was ‘“personally’ directing toward a flight, ended up caught in a panic-stricken human wave generated from people fleeing the tear gas.”
“One evacuee, who is both an American citizen and a nurse, tried to treat the injured before retreating from the gates of HKIA to render aid to at least three children with broken bones.”
Multiple government agencies admitted on Thursday they don’t know how many Americans remain in Afghanistan, nor how many need to be evacuated. Department of Defense spokesperson John Kirby first made the confession at a Thursday press conference.
“Pentagon press secretary John Kirby on Thursday admitted he ‘doesn’t know’ how many Americans remain in Afghanistan as the Biden administration scrambles to evacuate American citizens and Afghans at risk of Taliban reprisals from the country,” the New York Post reported.
Prior to calling a lid and departing to Delaware on Friday, President Joe Biden was directly challenged to give assurances to Americans that the administration would keep them safe.
“You just said that you would keep a laser focus on counter-terrorism efforts and that you don’t see as great of a threat of terrorism from Afghanistan as other parts of the world,” Bloomberg Reporter Justin Sink said, referring to Biden’s recent ABC News interview.
“But if you and your administration so badly misassessed how quickly the Taliban would sweep through Afghanistan, and we no longer have an embassy there from which to run intelligence operations, how can you at all be confident of your assessment of the risk of terrorism and the ability of the U.S. to conduct over the horizon missions to keep it in check?” Sink asked.
“Can you tell Americans that they are safe and that they will remain safe from terror attacks in Afghanistan?” Sink added.
“I think you’re comparing apples and oranges,’ Biden replied and dodged responding to the question. “One question was whether or not the Afghan forces we trained up would stay and fight in their own civil war they had going on.”
President Biden also took responsibility for the decision to withdraw the military without securing the safety of Americans and Afghan allies first.
“I made the decision,” Biden said. “The buck stops with me.”
However, the president also pledged to bring all Americans and Afghan allies to the U.S. safely.
“We will get you home,” Biden said.
While thousands have been evacuated from Afghanistan, only a small percentage of those flown out have been Americans, even as nearby Doha, Qatar airport ceased taking flights due to maximum capacity.
“A defense official said about 5,700 people, including about 250 Americans, were flown out of Kabul aboard 16 C-17 transport planes, guarded by a temporary U.S. military deployment that’s building to 6,000 troops,” the AP reported. “On each of the previous two days, about 2,000 people were airlifted.”
When turning to leave the press conference on Friday, Biden was asked a question that gets to heart of the precarious situation the Commander-in-Chief has left Americans in.
“Why do you continue to trust the Taliban, Mr. President?” a reporter asked. “Why do you continue to trust–”
The question remained unanswered. It is the question that needs to be asked as stranded Americans are now at the mercy of the Taliban, due to a lack of adequate planning. The Biden administration pulled military troops out before conducting an evacuation of civilians. It is now relying on the murderous Taliban to provide ‘safe passage.’ There is no way for the Biden administration to sugar-coat it: The Afghan withdrawal is a complete disaster.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.