Tuesday, August 24, 2021

For Afghans, the Clock in Kabul Just Ran Out

For all those Afghan nationals who helped us and we promised we would take care of them, if they are not already out of the country, it looks like the Kabul airlift option is off the table;

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid gave a press briefing and asked the US not to encourage Afghan people to leave the country.

He said the group is no longer allowing Afghan nationals to go to Kabul airport and called on crowds at the airport to go home.

Mujahid said "our aim is to rebuild our country."

"We are asking women to stay home at the moment," until security is guaranteed, the Taliban spokesperson said. He said Taliban fighters are not yet trained "how to deal with women." but added that women can resume working once here is "full security in place."

In regards to the Panjshir Valley region which is controlled by resistance forces, he said the Taliban would like to resolve the situation through dialogue.

Mujahid claimed media outlets are safe and free to work under Taliban rule.

He said the Taliban have not agreed to extend the August 31 evacuation deadline and said the US and allies must complete their operations by that date.

There are other ways out of the country, but it won't be easy or inexpensive, and getting to the right American officials in 3rd countries will be even more difficult.

Of course, this would all have been known in any competently run war game of the Course of Action chosen by the Biden Administration. As it is already established that we have a complete failure of the national security infrastructure in the United States, this level of incompetency is to be expected.

To our friends and our competitors, we are rightfully seen as unreliable, incompetent, and prone to overpromising and underdelivering. We are good at logistics - at least that is impressive - but that is a function of mass more than anything else.  

All that we do in Kabul now is under the good graces of the Taliban. Without them, nothing we do in  would be possible. As such, if you are willing to swallow the pill of abandoning non-Americans who put their lives on the line for us, there is some good thing here.

First, this removes some, but not all, of the problems US citizens and those of allied nations have had getting to the airport. If the masses of Afghans are told they will not be allowed to get in the airport, then that should back the World War Z human masses from the gates. 

Secondly, if masses of Afghans are not there on the final day, then if the Taliban are nice enough, we will be able to leave in state of relative composure without leaving the bodies of Afghan civilians strewn about the airfield in our wake.

Will there be US citizens and Green Card holders left behind in Afghanistan as of September 1st? Almost certainly. That will be the next phase.

Remember, this was all by choice. It did not have to end this way.

UPDATE: In today's press briefing a few numbers:

  • 63,900 Americans citizens, allied nation personnel, Green Card holders and SIV evacuated from AFG. 58,700 since 14 AUG.
  • 21,600 in the last 24 hours.

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