Afghan Tragedy: New Report Reveals How American Lives Were Endangered

By Darren Nagel | Friday, 19 August 2022 08:35
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Hundreds of Americans were left in Afghanistan following last year’s disastrous withdrawal of US troops — and the Biden administration has no intention to help thousands of Afghans who aided the US during its 20-year war against the Taliban and are still marooned in the collapsing country, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee claimed in a damning report released Wednesday.

In a two-page summary of Rep. Michael McCaul’s 115-page report, Republicans on the committee stressed that the White House had repeatedly said “about a hundred” Americans were left behind after the last US troops departed Kabul on Aug. 31, 2021.

However, they added, “the State Department has evacuated more than 800 [US citizens] since that date. In addition, outside veterans groups have evacuated several hundred more – meaning more than 1,000 Americans were abandoned in a country controlled by a terrorist organization.”

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Meanwhile, warned McCaul (R-Texas), “those Afghans most at-risk of Taliban reprisals remain trapped in Afghanistan” and under threat of deadly retribution from the fundamentalist government. Those left behind include “tens of thousands” of former elite Afghan military personnel, interpreters and women leaders promised sanctuary by the US.

“One year after the last U.S. troops left Afghanistan, the Committee Minority has found the Biden administration still lacks a plan to help these at-risk Afghan allies who fought shoulder to shoulder with U.S. forces, despite the administration admitting these former battlefield allies have been subjected to killings and forced disappearances,” McCaul wrote.

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While the US and its allies airlifted nearly 130,000 people out of the country during the weeks-long mission, McCaul’s report makes clear that many more were left to fend for themselves.

So desperate were those left behind in the face of Taliban repression, the Texas lawmaker stressed, that a watchdog report from May of this year found that around 3,000 members of the Afghan security forces fled to neighboring Iran as the Western-backed Kabul government fell.

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“It is possible these former Afghan military and other intelligence personnel could be recruited or coerced into working for one of America’s adversaries that maintains a presence in Afghanistan, including Russia, China, or Iran,” warned McCaul, adding: “The recruitment of former Afghan military and intelligence personnel poses a major national security risk due to the fact these Afghan personnel know the U.S. military and intelligence community’s tactics, techniques, and procedures.”

McCaul’s team studied hundreds of reports and memorandums related to the evacuation, interviewed witnesses and visited Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar as they prepared the report. They found several failures they claim contributed to the botched pullout.

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