Tragedy in Kabul: Do Terror Attacks Change Biden's Exit Strategy?
Just hours before deadly explosions were set off, the State Department had issued a warning for Americans to leave the Kabul airport immediately. Shortly after the warning, there were two bombing attacks – one at the Kabul airport outside of the Abbey gate and one at a hotel nearby where Americans have gathered in the past for evacuation purposes. These attacks were reported to likely have been orchestrated by an Islamic State group that has worked in the Afghanistan region for about 6 years, ISIS-K.
Pentagon officials expect more attacks to come.
Yesterday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of the potential threats in a press briefing:
"We’re operating in a hostile environment in a city and country now controlled by the Taliban, with the very real possibility of an ISIS-K attack. We’re taking every precaution, but this is very high-risk."
ACLJ Senior Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy and former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell points out the failures of Sec. Blinken:
"Let’s be really blunt about one thing. When they decided in the Cabinet meetings to close Bagram Air Base on July 1st. There should have been an absolute veto, human cry, screaming from the Secretary of State. He should not allow the Embassy, Embassy staff, Foreign Service Officers, and Americans to be at the Embassy when you are pulling troops out of a conflict zone. This is unacceptable, this is basic. He failed to take care of State Department officials. I think this is part of the problem. They are making decisions in a vacuum according to what they want to happen on paper."
Our options at this point are limited with chaos and violence ramping up in Afghanistan. We could either stick to the Taliban deadline and try to get as many troops as possible out and risk leaving some Americans behind, or send in more troops and potentially continue this conflict. Ric gave his opinion on what should be immediate priority for the Biden Administration:
"We have really bad options. Two poor choices that are terrible because of what they have done. So whatever answer is going to be a really bad answer compared to what we could’ve had before. I think the goal right now – the focus needs to be bringing Americans home. Do whatever you have to do to get the Americans’ home. If I was the President of the United States or advising the President, I would say to the Secretary of Defense go get the Americans. Do whatever you have to do – I don’t care what you have to do – you have to bring them home. So, don’t be tied down to not utilizing enough or too much or some sort of rules within Afghanistan placed upon you by the Taliban or the government of Afghanistan. Get our people home and then let’s get out."
Behind the scenes, our legal team is already using our resources and contacts on Capitol Hill to try to help children who are stranded get out. This is a very dangerous situation. We need to get our people out immediately. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they come.