U.S. Tries to Evacuate Thousands in 6 Days Before Final Afghan Withdrawal

Flex Air Charters Emergency Response Charters

In just the last 24 hours as of Wednesday, August 25th, NATO forces have managed to get 19,000 people out of Kabul on over 90 military cargo flights. These planes have been taking off at a rate of one every 39 minutes after the order was reestablished at the airport in the wake of the recent refugee panic.

4,400 U.S. citizens and their families have also been evacuated from Afghanistan as of this time. Despite this, several thousand more Americans are thought to still be awaiting their own flights in addition to many more Afghan citizens.

These are just some of the numbers released by recent U.S. State Department communiqués.

With that said, the U.S. Military and its coalition partners in the country have indeed increased their emergency evacuation services to many desperate people in this past week.

The organization of these evacuations has also improved, and despite often chaotic scenes at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul and elsewhere, the enormous humanitarian airlift by allied countries has resulted in 82,300 people being rescued from abandonment in the country since August 14th.

The total number of people evacuated since the end of July has been 87,900, underscoring just how much the rate of refugee evacuation has now ramped up. Among these are the 4,400 U.S. nationals.

According to Pentagon statements on Wednesday, August 25th, there are still 10,000 people waiting for a flight out from Kabul’s airport and it’s speculated that several thousand more Americans remain in-country as well. The Biden administration has however not given an exact number for the number of people it plans to remove before the August 31 deadline for the cessation of all flights that Joe Biden has affirmed.

The U.S. Government has also set up what amount to massive corporate air charters for refugee evacuations. This has been done by contracting with several U.S. Airlines to transport many of those first removed from Afghanistan by the military to other countries. Among the air carriers participating in this are American, Delta, and Hawaiian Airlines.

NATO allies of the U.S. and even members of Biden’s own Democratic Party have urged the president to extend the withdrawal deadline, arguing that the coalition is unlikely to evacuate all eligible Afghans from the country before August 31st.

Biden has rejected this pressure and these arguments, stating that “We are currently on pace to finish by August the 31st,”.

Despite this, the president also stated that he has asked the Pentagon and State Departments to draft contingency plans for an extension of the timetable if it becomes a sudden need.

To complicate matters further, there have been reports of two U.S. lawmakers flying into Kabul for an opportunity to observe the evacuation. In recent remarks at the Pentagon, military spokesman John Kirby has stated that he’s not aware of this and that the U.S. Military does not encourage any VIP visits that might further destabilize an already tense and dangerous situation in Kabul.

Taliban forces have swiftly taken over almost the whole of Afghanistan in recent weeks as the country’s coalition-sponsored military collapsed far more rapidly than previously expected in the wake of Biden’s announcements of upcoming U.S. military withdrawals.

Since then, many hundreds of flights by military, government, and even emergency air charter evacuations have been frantically evacuating both VIP and civilian refugees as well as U.S. citizens.

Photo Credit: iheart.com