Hundreds Of American Families Left in Afghanistan

HelicopterSomchai Kongkamsri

The Pentagon is ratcheting up efforts to get family members of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, developing a database of the hundreds who are imprisoned there. The Pentagon did not explain how and why Americans got stuck in Afghanistan in the first place.

Colin Kahl, the Undersecretary of Defense, "sent a memo urging any U.S. military personnel and DOD civilians with close family members who need aid departing Afghanistan to email his office."

According to defense officials, there are still several dozen immediate family members of US servicemen in Afghanistan. Children, siblings, and parents are among them. Officials say there are over 100 extended family members left in Afghanistan, but it's unclear how exactly to get them out.

"The Pentagon does not have a solid accounting of how many DOD civilians still have immediate family members in Afghanistan," officials said, despite the latest effort.

Rep. Michael McCaul wrote to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, saying: "Hundreds of Texans have called me in the last month, desperately seeking to get friends and family members out of the country. This covers the relatives of a number of Texans who are currently serving in the military. They have been abandoned. If we forsake our service personnel in Afghanistan, the Taliban would almost surely massacre them."

70,000 Afghan evacuees have already arrived in the United States, with the total number anticipated to reach 124,000.

A group led by Rep. Darrell Issa landed on Al Udeid Air Base in Doha in mid-October for a briefing on the efforts to bring Americans and our friends out of Afghanistan.

"A number of members were shocked," Issa said of the briefing. It was alarming since senators were told that 12,000 Afghans who arrived at Camp As Sayliyah and later traveled to the United States had no identity.

As reported by Issa: "They arrived empty-handed. There was no Afghan identification, no identification of any kind. All of those folks were sent to the United States, which is quite an admission. Despite the fact that many persons had no identification, they ended up in the United States today based on what they said."

"A State Department official said on September 1 that the majority of special immigrant visas were left in Afghanistan due to the evacuation's complications and that he and his team are 'haunted' by the evacuees the US could not get out by the Aug. 31 deadline."

Biden has pledged to get every American out in due time.

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