Bipartisan lawmakers say August 31 Afghanistan’s deadline fuels “chaos and panic”


On Friday, bipartisan lawmakers with a military background attended a roundtable to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, urging the White House to expand its evacuation efforts beyond Kabul Airport, with a deadline of 31 August. He claimed to be contributing to the turmoil on the ground.

Four parliamentarians in the army — Reps. Don Bacon (R-Nebraska), Jason Crow (D-Colorado), Kaiali’i Kahele (D-Hawaii) and Peter Meyer (R-Michigan) give views on the country’s situation and current evacuation efforts. I did. Virtual event Sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

“The August 31 deadline contributes to airport turmoil and panic, because some Afghans think they have 10 days to leave the country or the doors are closed forever. “Mayer, a veteran of the deployed Army, said. To Iraq in 2010.

As time runs out ahead of President Joe Biden’s August 31 withdrawal deadline for the rest of the U.S. military from Afghanistan, he is in the midst of turmoil and occasional violence reports and a surge in images outside Kabul Airport. Then, the Taliban cracks down on revenge and sends a desperate plea not to be left behind.

“There are hordes of crowds who think the clock is ticking and the opportunity to save their lives is ticking,” Meyer said. “It hinders this operation because it’s not clear where we’re heading.”

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On August 17, 2021, Afghan security guards are standing on the wall as hundreds of people gather outside the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP photo)

Biden addressed the situation at a press conference on Friday, during which time he reiterated his vow to evacuate all voluntary American citizens, extending his commitment to the Afghans who supported the war effort. He did not promise to extend the August 31 deadline, but left the door open for such a move.

“I think we can get it done by then, but we’ll make that decision as we go,” Biden told reporters, so that he could stay after August 31st to help. I asked if he was willing to order the army. Mentioning Afghans applying for refugee status under a special immigrant visa program, shelter and “take out all Americans to take out those SIVs.”

The Pentagon has evacuated about 8,000 people from Kabul Airport this week, but advocacy groups have said thousands more have been denied due to Taliban restrictions or paperwork issues.

Army veteran Crow, who has toured Iraq and Afghanistan, should start evacuation efforts earlier, urging the Biden administration to extend its efforts beyond the airports of Kabul at a roundtable meeting. Said that.

“We continue to ask the government to promise to stay as long as necessary to evacuate all American citizens, call on them, and ask their partners to hold the airport to extend its security beyond the boundaries of the airport. I am. [evacuees] You’ll actually arrive at the airport, “Crow said.

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Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Marines will guide evacuees during their evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 18, 2021.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Friday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby to extend security across airports He said there was a shortage of staff deployed, but the Pentagon sent more troops to Kirby and said the airport was more secure. ..

Kirby added that while the ability to carry out sorties across airport boundaries currently exists, each proposed mission needs to be analyzed for potential risks and benefits.

Kirby said US troops left Kabul’s airport this week and rescued 169 Americans.

A group of U.S. citizens said, “Very close, very close to the airport, and in a short amount of time, in a short distance, some of our troops were able to get out there and bring them. , ” He said.

Kirby was asked for details and said he was unaware of tactical details such as whether the gun was pulled or similar operations.

This mission was important because it was the first time the U.S. military had left a U.S.-owned airport to rescue Americans, according to U.S. officials.

Scattered reports claim that rescue missions were carried out by US, British, and French special forces.

The number of American citizens remaining in Afghanistan is unknown, but is estimated to be up to 15,000.

After the Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan, tens of thousands of Afghan translators and others are seeking evacuation with their close relatives, and the collapse of Kabul appears to be the final chapter of America’s longest war. Indicates what is to be done.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

Tom Ojimek

Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communication, and adult education. The best writing advice he has ever heard is from Roy Peter Clarke.