Topics: News about Afghanistan, evacuation of AMCITs, LPRs, and at-risk Afghans, TF Argo, Zeller on Afghan allies, letter to president, Italian medical support, Taliban hunting down our allies, safehouses out of money, . . . . . and more.
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Evacuation from Afghanistan
Afghans Forced Out of Safe Houses. Hundreds of Afghans have been forced to leave safe houses in Afghanistan after the volunteer group trying to help them evacuate failed to negotiate their passage out of the country and ran out of money to support housing them. The potential evacuees included U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and at-risk Afghans who worked for U.S. military forces. Task Force Argo has told them to return to their homes or fund their own accommodation. The group’s leaders said that it had three flights ready to leave but nowhere to land the planes because the U.S. government hadn’t approved the passenger manifests or otherwise cleared the departures. A spokeswoman for the group said that several countries already hosting Afghans temporarily – Albania, Kosovo, Rwanda, and Uganda – had offered to receive the passengers but only with the U.S. government’s approval. “Hundreds Seeking Evacuation From Afghanistan Forced to Leave Safehouses”, Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2021.
Qatar to Represent US in Afghanistan and Continue Hosting Evacuees. The United States and Qatar have agreed that Qatar will represent the diplomatic interests of the United States in Afghanistan. This will give Qatar the role of a “protecting power” for U.S. interests and to facilitate communication between the U.S. and the Taliban government. The Qataris will be able to offer limited consular services to U.S. citizens in Afghanistan. Additional consular assistance may include accepting passport applications, providing information, and more. The Qatar representatives for the U.S. will operate out of the former U.S. embassy in Kabul. In a separate agreement, Qatar will continue to temporarily host up to 8,000 Afghan evacuees. They will be housed at Camp As Sayliyah and al-Udeid Air Base. “Qatar to act as U.S. diplomatic representative in Afghanistan”, Reuters, November 12, 2021.
Saluting Our Afghan Allies. Matt Zeller, a co-founder of No One Left Behind, provides a tribute to our Afghan allies who fought alongside U.S. military forces for two decades. He explains how thousands of these allies are now hiding from the Taliban and seeking a way out of Afghanistan. Zeller notes that soon it will be the cold of winter and lack of food that will be the worst danger facing these at-risk Afghans who have no job and have left their homes, and are moving from house to house to hide from the Taliban. He thinks that the U.S. should make a deal with the Taliban – an exchange of food and fuel for the winter for all the people we left behind. Veteran organizations should not be doing the job that Congress, the Department of State, and the Biden administration should be doing. We were “Shoulder to Shoulder” with our Afghan allies for twenty years. That shouldn’t change now. “This Veterans Day, Remember to Salute Our Afghan Allies Too”, Time, November 11, 2021.
Evacuate Our Allies Campaign. The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is encouraging Americans to send a letter to the Biden administration requesting immediate action to rescue at-risk Afghans. Send a message to the president using an online messaging form by Voter Voice at the LIRS Action Center.
All AMCITs Offered Departure. The State Department says it has arranged a means out of Afghanistan for the last remaining US citizens who are seeking help departing. There are some who disagree with the DoS assessment, to include U.S. citizens still struggling to find a way out. Just more BS from the Department of State. “Every US citizen who wants out of Afghanistan offered departure, State Department says”, ABC News, November 12, 2021.
Life Under the Taliban
‘Escalated Aggression’ by Taliban. Multiple veteran organizations monitoring social media and in contract with former Afghan allies stuck in Afghanistan are receiving shocking images and stories of Taliban acts of revenge. The Taliban are becoming increasingly sophisticated in tracking down those who helped foreign forces in the 20-year war . . . and this is leading to a more targeted and brutal increase in violent vengeance. “The Taliban’s ‘escalated aggression’ against vulnerable Afghans”, Politico, November 11, 2021.
Explosion in Nangarhar. A bomb went off at noon on Friday, November 12th in the Tarela mosque when it was busy with worshippers at Friday Prayers. At least 3 people were killed and 15 people, perhaps more, were injured. “Deadly Blast Strikes at Eastern Afghan Mosque”, Gandhara RFE, November 12, 2021. This was the third major mosque bombing in five weeks. See also “Taliban: Bomb hits mosque in Afghanistan, wounds at least 15”, AP News, November 12, 2021.
Italians Providing Medical Support in Afghanistan. Despite the Taliban taking over Afghanistan an Italian medical organization has continued to offer services to the people of that country. The group started working in Afghanistan in 1999 and, since then, has treated over 7 million people. Learn more about Emergency in Afghanistan.
Teenage Daughters for Sale. A mother in southern Ghazni province has put her eldest daughter, age 13, up for sale to provide a living for the rest of the family. “Mother puts teenage daughter up for sale in Ghazni”, Kabul Now, November 11, 2021.
The New Sheriff in Town. The rise of Sirajuddin Haqqani network is documented in an article by Jeff Smith. “The Haqqani Network: The new Kingmaker in Kabul”, War on the Rocks, November 12, 2021.
Humanitarian Assistance and Economy
“Troiki Plus” Meeting. A meeting in Islamabad on Thursday, November 11th included representatives from the United States, Russia, China, and Pakistan. Thomas West was the U.S. representative. The participants have expressed grave concern at the potential for an economic collapse, worsening humanitarian crisis, and a new wave of refugees. “Islamabad Urges Major Powers to Fund, Assist Afghanistan”, Gandhara RFE, November 11, 2021.
A Million Children Could Die. Millions of Afghan children will begin a period of malnutrition lasting throughout the winter season in Afghanistan. A severe drought, collapsing economy, and hordes of displaced citizens have brought hardship to many in Afghanistan. The World Health Organization (WHO) has painted a forlorn picture of the future months in that land-locked country. The hunger of children will be complicated by other health concerns such as measles. “A million Afghan children at risk of dying amid acute malnutrition, WHO says”, Reuters, November 12, 2021.
Commentary, Analysis, and Opinion
US Left Without Honor. The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has left a majority of veterans with a lingering sense that America did not leave that war with honor. “Poll: Veterans Say US Left Afghanistan Without Honor, and They Want to Talk About It”, Defense One, November 11, 2021.
Photo: Afghan evacuees board the final outbound flight to the United States from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 30, 2021. Intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals conducted screening and security vetting for all Afghans prior to their departure. This flight marked the completion of Ramstein’s role in the largest humanitarian airlift in history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Milton Hamilton)