State Department Actively Impeding Rescue Efforts as Afghanistan Fades from Spotlight, Vets Say

Article author: 
Ryan Mills
Article publisher: 
National Review
Article date: 
29 December 2021
Article category: 
National News
Medium
Article Body: 

... The Project Dynamo rescue came four months after the fall of Kabul, as winter is setting in, and as Afghanistan is on the brink of mass starvation. It also came as successful rescues of Americans and American allies have become increasingly hard to come by....

Stern has focused his most recent efforts on rescuing American citizens and green-card holders, people who can fly commercially to the United States. But efforts by dozens of private rescue groups who have focused their energy on saving other American allies in the 20-year war — people who typically don’t have the paperwork for a direct path into the U.S. — have slowed to a crawl....

Leaders of some of those groups who spoke to National Review are pointing fingers at the U.S. Department of State. They say the State Department is doing little to help them rescue American allies, and in some cases it is actively blocking their efforts....

From late August to late October, Task Force Argo helped rescue more than 2,000 people from Afghanistan and got five flights out, Jensen said. Since then, their efforts have been stymied....

Owen estimated there are easily over 100,000 American allies still trapped in the country. He noted that former Afghan national army commandos don’t qualify for SIV status.
 
“They get nothing. The U.S. government doesn’t see any duty to evacuate these guys. And they are dead. They are dead. They are dead if they get caught. I’ve had three executed in the last two weeks, one in front of his wife and children,” Owen said....
Owen said it’s important that people don’t forget what’s happening in Afghanistan.
 
“People are dying every single day. Girls are being sold into marriage. Women are being raped. Kids are being killed. It’s bad. We had a child get his finger cut off the other day because the dad wouldn’t turn himself in. The world needs to understand these things are happening,” he said. “We need awareness. We need the State Department to at least not impede third-nation agreements. It would be great if they would help us get them.”

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