A pair of U.S. military veterans and lawmakers are imploring President Joe Biden to order U.S. troops to retain the Bagram Air Field, a major military installation that because the base of operations for American and NATO forces during the Afghan war, and to save Americans trapped behind Taliban lines.
“Two things need to happen, and only Biden can authorize: 1. US military must be allowed to operate outside Kabul airport to get American citizens. 2: Retake Bagram airfield, thus giving us more options for evacuations,” Crenshaw, a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer, tweeted.
“Biden created this mess and needs to take decisive action,” added Crenshaw, who was wounded in Helmand Province in Afghanistan in 2012 and lost vision in one eye.
Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., a former U.S. Army infantry officer, also called on Biden to act quickly to save Americans who have become, effectively, hostages of the Taliban.
Cotton laid into the president over his administration’s “ill-planned, chaotic withdrawal” in the country, which was followed by additional subsequent blunders, including “relying on the Taliban’s good graces to ensure the safety of our citizens.”
“The Republican pointed to other western countries—like Britain and France—that are said to have deployed teams of specialized forces to extract citizens behind Taliban lines,” Fox News reported Friday.
“The Washington Post reported that Paris deployed an elite police team to pick up nationals and Afghans who’ve been sheltering at the city’s old French embassy. The report also said that British paratroopers have been deployed on rescue missions,” the news network added.
Crenshaw also pushed back on claims by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the White House that the U.S. military doesn’t have the capability in the region to launch rescue operations in search of American citizens.
“Yesterday the SECDEF said we can’t go get US citizens, but this isn’t the full story. We certainly have the capability, but Biden has not authorized it,” the SEAL vet wrote on Twitter.
Yesterday the SECDEF said we can’t go get US citizens, but this isn’t the full story. We certainly have the capability, but Biden has not authorized it.
This must change. Biden needs to do something besides pass the buck.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) August 19, 2021
“This must change. Biden needs to do something besides pass the buck.”
Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, has vowed that the administration will bring back all Americans currently trapped in the country even as the U.S. is believed to have 6,000 troops back in Afghanistan.
There is also talk among members of the administration’s national security team to launch airstrikes to destroy tons of U.S. military equipment that was abandoned by Afghan National Army troops and is now in the hands of the Taliban.
“We have already seen Taliban fighters armed with U.S.-made weapons they seized from the Afghan forces,” Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican who is the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Reuters.
“This poses a significant threat to the United States and our allies.”
Reuters reported that since 2003, the U.S. has supplied Afghan forces with more than 600,000 infantry weapons including M-16 rifles, 162,000 pieces of communications equipment, and 16,000 night-vision goggles.
The ANA was also supplied with up-armed vehicles and helicopters including newer-model Blackhawks and transport aircraft.
Some U.S. officials have said that the higher-end equipment like the aircraft will not be of much use to the Taliban if they lack the skills and materials to keep them flying.
Syndicated with permission from USA Features News.