The program that ensured the quick and safe evacuation of Americans in danger abroad was canceled by the Biden administration two months before the disaster in Afghanistan.
This State Department program was created last year under then-President Donald Trump. The memo confirming its elimination was signed by Deputy Secretary of State Brian McKeon on June 11, according to The National Pulse on Aug. 18.
The official document from Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s office that eliminated funding for the program recommends the following.
“That you direct the discontinuation of the establishment, and termination of, the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR), and direct a further review of certain associated Department requirements and capabilities.”
And: “That you direct the discontinuation of the establishment, and termination of, CCR, consistent with the applicable legal requirements, necessary stakeholder engagement, and any applicable changes to the Foreign Affairs Manual and other requirements.”
The CCR replaced its predecessor known as ‘OpMed. “’OpMed,’ even as it works to prevent threats to Americans abroad, is fighting a rearguard action at home,” wrote author Adam Ciralsky, in May.
Even before the pandemic outbreak caused by COVID or the CCP (Communist Party of China) virus, it was instrumental in repatriating about 100,000 Americans to the United States when countries began closing their borders.
The CCR was designed to prevent tragedies like the one in Benghazi, Libya, for Americans abroad.
In Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, the U.S. consulate was stormed by armed militiamen who killed the ambassador to that country, an information management officer, and two CIA contractors recall The National Pulse.
The elimination of the CCR seems to be why the State and Defense Departments, among others, admitted not knowing of an official plan to ensure the evacuation of some 15,000 citizens held in Afghanistan under the domination of the Taliban Islamic group.
For his part, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “I do not have the capability to go out and extend operations currently into Kabul,” adding, “We don’t have the capability to go and collect up large numbers of people,” according to Defense One.
Austin said that 4,500 military personnel remain at Hamid Karzai International Airport to defend it and quell chaos or help people get through Taliban checkpoints.
“We will stay focused on securing the airfield. We cannot afford to either not defend that airfield or not have an airfield that’s secure,” he explained.
“The situation is dire,” said Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, adding, “But we will do everything in our power to help keep them informed and help them get out.”
The situation facing the thousands of Afghans who served more than 20 years on U.S. missions and who require protection from possible Taliban retaliation is no less dangerous.