It has been 71 days since Americans were left behind in Afghanistan by the Biden-Harris administration.
Every time we learn about a new angle to the overwhelming and colossal failure of the “Brandon” administration when it came to the withdrawl from Afghanistan, one can’t help but wonder what the next revelation could possibly be. After all, we’ve had innocent people droned and no one at fault at the Pentagon, thousands of American citizens and permanent residents left behind when the State Department was insisting that there were only “about 100” people left to get out, and a complete lack of vetting of the Afghans who did make it to the United States. What else could possibly have gone wrong?
A Pentagon memo, revealed by NBC News, tells us the next horrifically bad thing. Family members of United States military members – those who joined the military or moved to the United States and enlisted – were left behind in Afghanistan. Now, the Pentagon is trying to create a database of those left behind.
The memo, obtained by NBC News, instructs service members and Defense Department civilians to email a specific address with the subject “immediate family member.” In addition to names, the emails will need to include passport, contact and other personal information about the family members so they can be added to the database.”
There are still several dozen immediate family members of U.S. service members in Afghanistan, according to defense officials. Those include children, sisters and brothers, and parents. There are well over 100 extended family members still in Afghanistan, but it’s not clear how many of them want to leave the country, the officials said.”
Until now, said defense officials, the individual military services had been tracking cases of U.S. military personnel with family still stuck in Afghanistan.”
The branches will continue their efforts, but a defense official said the memo shows “a more deliberate effort at the DOD level” to keep track of how many people are impacted. The official said there is real momentum to help get immediate family members out. “There is an increased desire to make sure that as we make this push that we have every situation accounted for,” the official said, adding that they are trying to “expand the reach” to make sure DOD personnel and their families are getting help.”
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby was asked about this, and he confirmed the details of the memo. All the Pentagon is going to do is create a database list, and then give it to the State Department.
To his credit, Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX) raised this problem back in September in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
Over the last month, I have been contacted by hundreds of Texans who are desperately trying to get friends and family members safely out of the country. While we have been able to help some, many are trapped. There are reports of several hundred of people, including American citizens, who have been waiting over a week for charted flights to take off from Mazar-i-Sharif airport.”
That includes the family members of several Texans who currently serve in the military. They have been working night and day to safely evacuate their family members. But their efforts so far have not been successful. These brave men and women have volunteered to risk their lives to protect our country. Yet, now, when they need us the most, the federal government has turned our backs on them. If we abandon the family members of our service men and women in Afghanistan, they will certainly be slaughtered by the Taliban.”
As we all know, neither the State Department nor the Department of Defense has been super helpful or forthcoming with details about just how many American citizens were left behind, not even counting greencard holders and other legal residents. And now, the Pentagon is just going to create a database of family members of the military who are still trapped in Afghanistan, give it to the State Department, and cross their fingers.
Does anyone else feel like screaming? And what the hell is wrong with General Mark Milley and Secretary Austin? How could they not have known that family members of our military were being left behind? Why weren’t these family members prioritized when it was clear that the Taliban was going to swallow the country wholesale?
Just add this insanity and shame to the list of things that were royally screwed up on our way out the door in Afghanistan. Let’s go, Brandon, indeed.