The Pentagon is admitting that since President Biden withdrew all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, several dozen immediate family members of U.S. service members are still trapped there.
A memo issued by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl asks U.S. military personnel and DoD civilians who have immediate family members requiring help to leave Afghanistan to contact his office, NBC News reports. The memo “instructs service members and Defense Department civilians to email a specific address with the subject ‘immediate family member,’” the network reports.
According to defense officials, several dozen immediate family members of U.S. service members are still in Afghanistan. “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,” NBC News states, citing the officials.
In late September, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in which he stated, “If we abandon the family members of our service men and women in Afghanistan, they will certainly be slaughtered by the Taliban.” He wrote:
The United States’ deadly and chaotic exit from Afghanistan has left a stain on our country for generations. Many Americans have been left behind by the Biden Administration and thousands, if not tens of thousands of our Afghan partners and their families were also abandoned.
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.
I am asking for you to provide me with details of how many U.S. servicemembers have family currently trapped in Afghanistan and your agencies are doing to secure their evacuation.
The Daily Wire reported on October 22:
The State Department reportedly admitted to congressional staff Friday that there are 363 Americans still left in Afghanistan and 176 who are actively communicating with the Biden administration and want to be rescued — hundreds more Americans the State Department previously said remained on the ground behind enemy lines. CNN’s Phil Mattingly tweeted Friday that the “State Dept. informed congressional staff Thursday that it is in touch with 363 American citizens in Afghanistan, 176 of whom want to leave.