The Biden administration’s botched exit from Afghanistan left thousands of Americans stranded and desperate for help.
While the administration initially claimed about 150 people were stranded in the Taliban-controlled country, a Senate report said there was a minimum of 9,000 abandoned Americans.
Some estimates claimed the number was nearly 15,000.
It was an utter disaster.
Here’s a recap:
While there's disagreement over the policy to leave #Afghanistan, Americans share outrage over how the admin. withdrew, & what that failure has done to America’s reputation. This morning I released a report that details what went wrong & why.
— Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member (@SenateForeign) February 3, 2022
BOMBSHELL REPORT: Biden Admin Left 9K Americans in Afghanistan, Originally Claimed 150 https://t.co/1A76WAFTpI
— Sean Hannity 🇺🇸 (@seanhannity) February 3, 2022
New leaked docs show the Biden Administration in total disarray as Afghanistan collapses, with thousands of Americans trapped, and NOT ONE person responsible has yet resigned. Not one. https://t.co/HbVaWQpCDs
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) February 2, 2022
Daily Caller reported last year:
In public statements, Biden administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, claimed that only 100-150 Americans remained in Afghanistan and had contacted the U.S. government with a desire to leave. The State Department and Defense Department officials stuck to that number, even as the government publicly admitted that large numbers of American citizens were still leaving the country.
The report, signed by Foreign Relations ranking member Jim Risch of Idaho, reveals that State Department officials believed that between 10,000 and 15,000 Americans were in Afghanistan as late as Aug. 17. In the next two weeks, only 6,000 Americans were able to escape the country ahead of the Taliban takeover. In testimony in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, however, Blinken claimed that “approximately 100-150 remained in Afghanistan who still wished to depart.”
Estimating the number of Americans residing or visiting a country like Afghanistan is “50% art and 50% science and educated guesswork,” staffers of the former Kabul Embassy reportedly said, since Americans are encouraged but not required to register with the State Department when they enter a country. The staffers noted that host countries are generally able to provide better estimates than the embassy, but that Afghanistan was not capable of doing so.
It appears Americans are being abandoned again in a war-torn country.
The U.S. Department of State warned Americans in Sudan to “shelter in place” due to the chaos and fighting.
“The U.S. embassy remains under a shelter in place order and cannot provide emergency consular services. Due to the uncertain security situation in Khartoum and closure of the airport, it is not currently safe to undertake a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of private U.S. citizens,” the statement read.
Read the full message tweeted by the U.S. Embassy Khartoum:
Security Alert The Embassy continues to closely monitor the situation in Khartoum and surrounding areas, where there is ongoing fighting, gunfire, and security forces activity. There have also been reports of assaults, home invasions, and looting. U.S. citizens are strongly advised to remain indoors, shelter in place until further notice and avoid travel to the U.S. embassy. The U.S. embassy remains under a shelter in place order and cannot provide emergency consular services. Due to the uncertain security situation in Khartoum and closure of the airport, it is not currently safe to undertake a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of private U.S. citizens. In order to better help you, if you are a U.S. citizen in Sudan, please ensure we have the following information by sending an email to [email protected].
When communicating with the U.S. Embassy, please include:
– your full name as spelled in your U.S. passport,
– your passport number,
– your current location in Sudan,
– your local telephone number,
– your email address
Please also include this same information for any U.S. citizen family members currently with you in Sudan.
Actions to take:
– Remain sheltered in place.
– Attempt to stay at the lower levels of your location, stay away from windows and attempt to keep away from roadways.
– Monitor local media for updates.
– Review Department of State’s Travel Advisory for Sudan and the most recent Security Alerts.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-888-407-4747 or +1-202-501-4444
The Embassy continues to closely monitor the situation in Khartoum and surrounding areas, where there is ongoing fighting, gunfire, and security forces activity. There have also been reports of assaults, home invasions, and looting. U.S. citizens are strongly… pic.twitter.com/u6LwySN867
— U.S. Embassy Khartoum (@USEmbassyKRT) April 20, 2023
The Pentagon is positioning U.S. forces in Djibouti in anticipation of a potential mission to evacuate U.S. Embassy personnel in Khartoum, two people familiar with the military plans said.
The security situation in Sudan’s capital has cratered over a week of fighting, as two rival generals — Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, in charge of the nation’s armed forces, and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dalago, who leads the Rapid Support Forces military group — battle for control of the country. The heavy fighting in Khartoum has left many stranded in the city of 5 million people, including embassy staff who are sheltering in place at the compound eight miles from the international airport.
Wendy Sherman, the deputy secretary of State, privately told lawmakers Wednesday that troops would be moving to Djibouti, home to Camp Lemmonier, to provide the administration an option to launch an evacuation operation, according to one of the people familiar with the situation. The person, along with others POLITICO spoke to for this story, was granted anonymity to discuss sensitive military planning and internal deliberations. Sherman stressed that the mission would whisk only embassy staff to safety and that there won’t be a military-led general evacuation of American citizens, the lawmaker added.
A Defense Department spokesperson confirmed that the U.S. was prepositioning troops, but stopped short of saying they were heading to Djibouti.