The Biden State Department moved in June to cancel a program overseeing the protection and evacuation of American citizens stationed overseas in the case of an emergency, just as the Taliban was taking over Afghanistan, according to an internal State Department memo obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and multiple sources familiar with the matter.
The Biden State Department moved to dissolve the Trump-era crisis response program, according to an internal State Department memo and sources familiar with the matter. That memo, which was marked sensitive but unclassified and was signed by Deputy Secretary Brian McKeon, approved the “discontinuation of the establishment, and termination of, the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR),” a new State Department entity created during the Trump administration to coordinate emergency response services overseas.
The CCR bureau was established late last year by then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo. In a notification sent to Congress in October and also obtained by the Free Beacon, the Trump administration said the new bureau would provide “aviation, logistics, and medical support capabilities for the Department’s operational bureaus, thereby enhancing the secretary’s ability to protect American citizens overseas in connection with overseas evacuations in the aftermath of a natural or man-made disaster.”
The decision to dissolve the CCR was handed down just months before the Taliban overtook the Afghan capital of Kabul, leaving the Biden administration scrambling to evacuate more than 15,000 Americans still trapped in the country. It is unclear if the Biden State Department has an alternative plan or a similar bureau that could coordinate emergency services alongside other government agencies, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Rogin points out in his Washington Post column today that a number of journalists are among those trapped in Afghanistan. With the Taliban conducting door-to-door searches, Rogin foresees hostage crises popping up and dominating news cycles for a long time to come unless the Biden administration gets its act together:
As the situation on the ground in Afghanistan’s capital continues to deteriorate, thousands of U.S. citizens are trapped in and around Kabul with no ability to get to the airport, which is their only way out of the country. As Taliban soldiers go door to door, searching for Westerners, these U.S. citizens are now reaching out to anyone and everyone back in Washington for help. The Biden administration must get moving on a plan to rescue them before it’s too late.
As many as 15,000 Americans remain in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover of the country, Biden administration officials told Senate staffers Tuesday, two aides said. Two Senate aides confirmed that they were given that figure in a briefing led by national security and defense officials. The Washington Post first reported that the staffers were told that 10,000 to 15,000 U.S. citizens …
Joe Biden’s State Dept Halted A Trump-Era ‘Crisis Response’ Plan Aimed At Avoiding Benghazi-Style Evacuations Just MONTHS Before Taliban Takeover. August 18, 2021. Facebook. Twitter. Email . Print. Telegram. The “Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau” – which was designed to handle medical, diplomatic, and logistical support concerning Americans overseas was paused by Anthony …
The “Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau” – which was designed to handle medical, diplomatic, and logistical support concerning Americans overseas was paused by Anthony Blinken’s State Department earlier this year. Notification was officially signed just months before the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
“SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED,” an official State Department document from the Biden State Department begins, before outlining the following move the quash the Trump-era funding for the new bureau.
The document is from the desk of Deputy Secretary of State Brian P. McKeon, confirmed in March by the United States Senate.