The decision to send 5,000 US troops to Afghanistan at the last minute to help partially evacuate the US Embassy raises doubts about President Joe Biden’s ability to achieve his goal of entirely leaving by the end of the month.
Three battalions of the Army and two battalions of the Marines will enter Afghanistan to help with security at the Kabul airport, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, and a brigade of 4,000 Army personnel will be moved to Kuwait to be on standby if more forces are required.
Last month, Biden claimed that the Taliban taking control the nation once the U.S. leaves was “not inevitable.” Biden went on to say that “the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”
Q: "How serious was the corruption among the Afghanistan Government to this mission failed there?"
Biden: "First of all the mission hasn't failed. Yet … The likelihood there's going to be a Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely" pic.twitter.com/O9oa4lRUle
— Mona Salama (@MonaSalama_) July 8, 2021
Robert Gates, the Obama administration’s military secretary, recently warned that Democratic Vice President Joe Biden had “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
The exodus comes as a U.S. defense officer warns that the Taliban may seize control of the capital, a metropolis of more than four million people, in as little as a few days.
Special agents from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service and senior decisionmakers, including the ambassador, will stay at the embassy. Security engineers will also stay behind to begin deleting crucial hard drives, dismantling cameras, and deactivating alarms at the embassy.
President Biden approved the plan to send in U.S. troops to Afghanistan to facilitate the withdrawal of American diplomats at a meeting this morning with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, per source.
— Steve Holland (@steveholland1) August 12, 2021
The rest of the embassy staff, including those waiting for special immigrant visas, local employees, and their families, will be shuttled to Kabul’s International Airport, where a makeshift embassy will be set up in an airplane hangar to continue processing visas and evacuations while preparing to depart.
The race to remove U.S. personnel comes as the Taliban continues to gain ground in Kabul. The organization is also replenishing its numbers by freeing Taliban detainees along the route and stealing weapons and vehicles left behind by US-trained Afghan soldiers withdrawing.
The Pentagon is moving thousands of Marines into position for a possible evacuation of the American Embassy and U.S. citizens in Kabul as the Biden administration braces for a possible collapse of the Afghan government within 30 days, officials said. https://t.co/DLdZlvPjNq
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 12, 2021
Despite President Biden and his team’s frenzied attempts to argue that the present self-created calamity in Afghanistan is not an abandonment, retreat, or crisis evacuation, the majority of analysts believe that it is all three.
The military phrase for evacuating non-essential citizens and military people from a critical crisis zone is NEO. Team Biden is urgently trying to avoid using the word because it is politically sensitive.
Regrettably, reality is more difficult to ignore for them.
Already, images of helicopters departing the U.S. embassy rooftop in Saigon in 1975 are being conjured up.