Give back Kabul, let’s go home

Alexey Naumov

While the Taliban in Afghanistan reached Kabul, the US Embassy in this country urgently curtails work and prepares for evacuation: US diplomats were ordered to destroy important documents and “all things that can be used for propaganda purposes” – including state flags. Against this background, thousands of American soldiers are urgently deployed to the country; the White House emphasizes that their mandate is extremely limited in terms of task and time.

Shredders, waste compactors, ovens and incinerators are the four most sought-after items in the work of the American diplomatic corps in Afghanistan. It is they who are listed in the memo “support for destruction”, which was sent to the employees of the US Embassy in Kabul from Washington at the end of last week. Through these useful mechanisms, employees are encouraged to get rid of documents, electronic devices and also all “items with embassy and State Department logos, American flags and other things that could be abused for propaganda purposes.”

“Soon everything will go to pieces,” an informed source in the State Department commented on the initiative to The Washington Post, although the department itself stated that this procedure is standard and is applied whenever it is necessary to “minimize civilian residence” in a particular country.

Earlier it was reported that the embassy will formally continue to work, but is likely to move to the territory of the Kabul airport – however, the rapid offensive of the Taliban may make adjustments to these plans.

As often happens in such a situation, there is confusion: while American diplomats were advised to master incinerators with shredders and slowly pack their things, a vacancy appeared on the Daybook professional job search site at the US Embassy in Kabul https: // www. daybook.c-om/jobs/APjftrJrSCTJyTqBL… The employee, according to the announcement, will have to work in “an extremely sensitive political environment, while the ongoing uprising in the country increases the need for objective journalistic work.” An applicant is required to have an excellent knowledge of English, Pashto and Dari, as well as a solid understanding of the country’s media and political landscape, in order to interact with local media and communicate the US position to local leaders, the media and members of the public.

The Public Engagement Assistant has yet to arrive in Kabul, but American soldiers have already arrived. Last week it was said about 3 thousand people, however, against the background of the rapid deterioration of the situation, it was decided to send 5 thousand. They are faced with the task of helping the embassy staff and other foreign diplomats to evacuate. Several thousand more people were transferred to the American military base in Kuwait for insurance – they will be on constant readiness to help colleagues in Kabul. Another thousand were sent to Qatar – they will deal with the processing of visa applications for Afghans who helped US and NATO soldiers during the war. We will remind, out of 20 thousand Afghans in the United States have already arrived 700 people, another 1.7 thousand, according to sources of the newspaper The New York Times, will arrive within the next week.

According to CNN, American intelligence believed that the Taliban were blockading Kabul this week – perhaps even by the end of Monday, August 16, but on August 15, after the loss of the city of Jalalabad, it became known that the capital was de facto cut off from the rest of the captured country. the Taliban.

Apparently, the calls of the Pentagon did not help: we will remind, back on Friday, August 13, in the person of press secretary John Kirby, he called on Afghans to fight, inviting them to demonstrate “will and leadership.”

“We will support from the air where we can, but they themselves have an advantage. They have more soldiers. They have aviation. They have modern weapons. It’s time to use it, ”said Mr. Kirby. In addition to the United States, Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands are cutting embassy personnel to a minimum. The Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, and Spain are completely withdrawn from the diplomats.

Apparently, Washington should not expect a change in approach: last weekend, US President Joe Biden issued a separate address on Afghanistan, where he only announced an increase in the American contingent to 5 thousand people, assistance to Afghan refugees and warned the Taliban that the threat to the lives of Americans in Kabul will trigger a powerful military response. In the main question, he remained true to himself. “If the Afghan army cannot or will not defend its country, not another year, not another five years of the American military presence will change this. I do not consider the endless presence of Americans in the center of a civil conflict in another country possible, ”he said.

Biden even tried to shift some of the responsibility to his predecessor, Donald Trump, recalling that it was he who made a deal on the withdrawal of soldiers by May 1, 2021, and then reduced the US military presence in the country to 2.5 thousand people.

Therefore, as the president said, he had a choice: either to postpone the deadline slightly in order to withdraw his forces and the forces of the allies, or to re-send significant military forces to the country. “I was the fourth American president to lead a US military presence in Afghanistan. I do not intend to pass this war on to the fifth, ”he summed up.

“The fiasco in Afghanistan was not unexpected, everything was predicted,” said Republican Senator Tom Cotton. – Joe Biden’s poorly executed plan humiliated America and endangered the lives of thousands of Americans remaining in Kabul. At the very least, the president should use aircraft and destroy every Taliban near Kabul until we evacuate our people. Any less radical decision will once again demonstrate Joe Biden’s weakness to the world. “

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