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Blinken vows to keep helping any American who wants to leave Afghanistan

CM 13/09/2021


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WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday to address the administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. In a lengthy appearance that lasted for over four hours, Blinken defended the administration’s decision to leave the country as over a hundred US citizens were still in Afghanistan and vowed to help those who were still there.
“We’re in constant contact with American citizens still in Afghanistan who have told us that they wish to leave,” he said. “Each has been assigned a case management team to offer specific guidance and instruction. Some declined to be on the first flights on Thursday and Friday for reasons including needing more time to make arrangements, wanting to remain with extended family for now, or medical issues that precluded traveling last week.”
“We’ll continue to help them and we’ll continue to help any American who still wants to leave, and Afghans to whom we have a special commitment,” Blinked added.

He noted that last Thursday, a Qatar Airways charter flight with US citizens and others departed Kabul and landed in Doha, and on Friday, a second flight carrying US citizens and others departed Afghanistan.
“These flights were the result of a coordinated effort by the United States, Qatar, and Turkey to reopen the airport, and intense diplomacy to start the flights,” said Blinken. He then went on to say that in addition to those flights, “a half-dozen American citizens, about a dozen permanent residents of the United States have also left Afghanistan via an overland route, with our help.”

 US Army Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, steps on board a C-17 transport plane as the last US service member to leave Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 30, 2021 in a photograph taken using night vision optics. (credit: XVIII Airborne Corps/Handout via REUTERS) US Army Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, steps on board a C-17 transport plane as the last US service member to leave Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 30, 2021 in a photograph taken using night vision optics. (credit: XVIII Airborne Corps/Handout via REUTERS)

Speaking about the decision to leave Afghanistan on August 31, at a self-imposed deadline, Blinken said there “there is no evidence that staying longer would have made the Afghan security forces or the Afghan government any more resilient or self-sustaining.”
“If 20 years and hundreds of billions of dollars in support, equipment, and training did not suffice, why would another year, another five, another 10?” he said.
Blinken said that the emergency evacuation was sparked by the collapse of the Afghan security forces and government. “Throughout the year, we were constantly assessing their staying power and considering multiple scenarios,” he said. “Even the most pessimistic assessments did not predict that government forces in Kabul would collapse while US forces remained.”
“In the end, we completed one of the biggest airlifts in history, with 124,000 people evacuated to safety,” he said.
“Our consular team worked 24/7 to reach out to Americans who could still be in the country, making in those couple of weeks 55,000 phone calls, sending 33,000 emails – and they’re still at it,” said Blinken.
Regarding the fear of terror resurgence in Afghanistan, Blinken said that the Taliban “has committed to preventing terrorist groups from using Afghanistan as a base for external operations that could threaten the United States or our allies, including al-Qaeda and ISIS-K.”
“We’ll hold them accountable for that; That does not mean we will rely on them,” he said. “We will remain vigilant in monitoring threats, we’ll maintain robust counterterrorism capabilities in the region to neutralize those threats if necessary – and we do that in places around the world where we do not have military forces on the ground.”

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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