How Do You Leave Americans Behind, Joe? [OPINION]
An unspecified number of American citizens were left behind enemy lines when the Biden Administration pulled U.S. forces out of Afghanistan. We don't know how many Americans remain in hiding or who they are, but the administration says there is no guarantee they can be evacuated safely.
CNN reports a State Department security alert issued on Wednesday to Americans on the ground in Afghanistan warns "The United States government cannot ensure safe passage to the Hamid Karzai International Airport." The report stated the message "comes in stark contrast to comments made by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan just a day prior." Sullivan told reporters on Tuesday that the Taliban had committed to allowing safe passage for civilians to the airport.
There are reports that the Taliban has established checkpoints to prevent Americans, Afghans, Christian groups, NGO's and others from reaching the airport. At least one contractor said he was severely beaten while attempting to flee.
American intelligence overestimated the strength of the Afghan army and its ability to keep the Taliban in check. Contractors on the ground that might have helped to guide airstrikes against the Taliban left the country months ago when it was clear the Biden Administration would withdraw American forces. That will be a problem should American fighter pilots have to go in. There is also no search and rescue capability should an American plane go down on such a mission.
The biggest failure of Biden's Afghanistan plan was to withdraw troops from Afghanistan before all American citizens had an opportunity to leave. That is appalling. It's un-American, Joe. No one is left behind. Find support for all of those abandoned in Afghanistan by visiting No One Left Behind on Facebook.
Meanwhile, we continue to think about the 32 Massachusetts residents who were among the more than 2,400 Americans who gave their lives over 20 years in Afghanistan. Six were our neighbors here on the SouthCoast.
I heard from an area dad on Monday whose son is in Kuwait awaiting orders as the situation in Afghanistan unfolds. Keep all of our heroes in uniform and their families in your prayers. We could be in for a bumpy ride.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
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