The deadly and chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan cost President Biden a great deal politically, as fallout hurt his polling numbers and angered tens of millions of Americans.
One of the biggest outrages aside from the deaths of 13 U.S. military personnel to a suicide bombing just a few days before the last Air Force plane departed was the fact that the administration reportedly left hundreds of Americans behind in the war-torn country, even as it evacuated tens of thousands of Afghan nationals.
Now, the Pentagon has admitted that several dozen immediate family members of U.S. troops were also abandoned, the Daily Wire notes:
A memo issued by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl asks U.S. military personnel and DoD civilians who have immediate family members requiring help to leave Afghanistan to contact his office, NBC News reports. The memo “instructs service members and Defense Department civilians to email a specific address with the subject ‘immediate family member,’” the network reports.
“In addition to names, the emails will need to include passport, contact and other personal information about the family members so they can be added to the database,” NBC News reported, adding:
There are still several dozen immediate family members of U.S. service members in Afghanistan, according to defense officials. Those include children, sisters and brothers, and parents. There are well over 100 extended family members still in Afghanistan, but it’s not clear how many of them want to leave the country, the officials said.
In late September, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken stating, “If we abandon the family members of our service men and women in Afghanistan, they will certainly be slaughtered by the Taliban.”
The letter added:
The United States’ deadly and chaotic exit from Afghanistan has left a stain on our country for generations. Many Americans have been left behind by the Biden Administration and thousands, if not tens of thousands of our Afghan partners and their families were also abandoned.
Over the last month, I have been contacted by hundreds of Texans who are desperately trying to get friends and family members safely out of the country. While we have been able to help some, many are trapped. There are reports of several hundred of people, including American citizens, who have been waiting over a week for charted flights to take off from Mazar-i-Sharif airport.
That includes the family members of several Texans who currently serve in the military. They have been working night and day to safely evacuate their family members. But their efforts so far have not been successful. These brave men and women have volunteered to risk their lives to protect our country. Yet, now, when they need us the most, the federal government has turned our backs on them. If we abandon the family members of our service men and women in Afghanistan, they will certainly be slaughtered by the Taliban.
I am asking for you to provide me with details of how many U.S. servicemembers have family currently trapped in Afghanistan and your agencies are doing to secure their evacuation.
The Pentagon admitted that “hundreds” of Americans were left behind on Aug. 30, the Taliban-imposed deadline for the U.S. evacuation.
“Commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie announced Monday that the last American planes had left Afghanistan, ending 20 years of American military occupation, and leaving the country completely in the hands of the Taliban,” The Federalist reported at the time, citing Pentagon sources.
“According to the commander, there are still hundreds of Americans in Afghanistan,” the outlet added.
“CENTCOM Commander says there are ‘hundreds’ of American citizens still in Afghanistan after the last C-17 departed Kabul,” Spencer Brown, the managing editor of TownHall.com, tweeted, in reference to U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Kenneth McKenzie.
“We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out,” he said.
USA Features News reported Oct. 24:
There are still at least 363 American citizens remaining in Afghanistan, about half of whom want to leave the country, the State Department reportedly told congressional staff Thursday.
One hundred and seventy-six of those citizens are trying to get out of the country, two sources said according to CNN. When the U.S. military completed its evacuation from Kabul, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there was a “small number” of Americans still trying to leave, totaling less than 200 and “likely closer to 100.”
The State Department told the Daily Caller Thursday that “at least 129 U.S. citizens” have been helped out of the country by the department since the U.S. completed it’s military withdrawal, suggesting Blinken’s estimate of “closer to 100” was substantially undercounting the number of Americans trying to leave.