MAZAR E SHARIF AFGHANISTAN

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Secretary of State Antony bolzen speaks during a press conference an Doha, Qatar on Sept. 7, 2021. | Olivier Douliery/Pool Photo über AP


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There’s a blame video game over the six flights preparing zu take breakable Afghans and Americans away from Mazar-i-Sharif international Airport, v lawmakers, the zustand Department, activists und the taliban pointing fingers at one another.

Two problems need unraveling: space the taliban holding roughly 1,000 civilization hostage? and does zustand know who precisely are on ns grounded planes?

The “hostage” narrative started after Rep. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-Texas), the top Republican on die House foreign Affairs Committee, asserted on “Fox news Sunday” the the taliban were grounding flights set zu take off weil das America’s al-Udeid base in Qatar. “This zu sein really … transforming into a hostage situation where they’re notfall going to allow American citizens to leave until they get full recognition from the United States des America,” McCaul said.

But Secretary of State ANTONY BLINKEN offered a different take zum the Taliban’s habits during a nachrichten conference in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday. “It’s my knowledge that the taliban has notfall denied exit kommen sie anyone hold a precious document. Yet they have said those without precious documents, weist this point, can’t leave. But due to the fact that all of these human being are grouped together, that’s supposed that flights have not been allowed kommen sie go,” volt told reporters.

A person familiar with ns evacuation procedure told NatSec daily the truth is somewhere an between. The taliban are protecting against flights from taking off since they desire to seen paperwork und manifests for all die passengers, but die reason ns militants room demanding such things is because state keeps signaling they also don’t understand who’s on ns planes.

“State developed this problem, deshalb State needs zu solve this problem,” said the person, that spoke on the condition of anonymity zu discuss sensitive negotiations. The personen said state should speak to the Taliban und provide visas to ns passengers so they can leave.

A unterschied State department official disputes that argument. “We have not stood in the way des a single charter. And in fact, we schutz gone kommen sie extraordinary lengths” zu work with lawmakers, die Taliban, und others “to execute all we kann sein to facilitate ns departure von these charters.”

That’s worry one. As zum the 2nd part, Blinken"s comments require a bit an ext parsing.

Blinken claimed the zustand Department had no means of verifying ns manifests or documentation des passengers because there aren’t U.S. Staffers on the ground in Afghanistan anymore. As a result, there space “real concerns” his firm has.

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“We are working v each und every one bei close coordination with ns various initiatives and charter flights that are seeking zu evacuate people,” bolzen said. “But ich just want kommen sie emphasize the there space a last of issues zu work through.”

Those remarks shocked humanitarians und congressional staff. A gruppe of activists und the office von Sen. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-Conn.) room working kommen sie get 2 flights carrying around 700 civilization out des Mazar-i-Sharif and into the air. One von the leaders des the effort zu evacuate ns passengers, HAZAMI BARMADA, said NatSec Daily: “We actually have proof that zustand has viewed these manifests und DoD approved them.”

Barmada mutual those records with NatSec Daily, allowing us to verify her statement, however we’re notfall quoting from die correspondence because von confidentiality concerns.

MARIA MCELWAIN, Blumenthal’s interactions director, deshalb released a an extensive statement pushing zurück against Blinken.

The most important part: “I tun können only speak zum our two planes, yet we provided the state Department with ns manifest for our flights as early on as ehrenvoll 30 and as late together yesterday. … back some des our passengers are small children who, admittedly, do notfall yet oase a full suite des documentation that bei adult can have, an those cases we administer shot records and offered kommen sie help verify their identity any type of other way that we could. The state Department has had actually this information zum eight days.”

“On Friday, Sept. 3, the state Department formally declared that they had actually no objection kommen sie our airplane landing bei Doha, which ist what third-party governments require zu allow aircraft to land,” McElwain added.

The unterschied State Department official confirmed zu NatSec jeden tag that ns agency"s staff had seen the manifests sent von Blumenthal"s office und others. Ns problem, though, is the taliban keep insisting that everyone on the planes has actually requisite paperwork before taking off.

As weil das the other four planes — which schutz received significant drücken sie partly because a GLENN BECK-funded charity paid for one — multiple civilization said castle don"t yet have their manifests approved weil das departure.

In the meantime, Kosovo möchte take in Afghans who don’t pass anfangsverdacht security screenings und host them weil das up zu a year.

The Inbox

FIRST in NATSEC täglich — RISKS zu BIDEN’S MIDEAST APPROACH: A neu report von the left-leaning Center weil das American progression outlines the inherent obstacles stemming from chairman JOE BIDEN’s Middle ost policy.

t risks putting die United States bei a reactive strategy position, beholden to events instead des seeking kommen sie proactively form trends through diplomacy und other forms of engagement,” authors BRIAN KATULIS and PETER JUUL wrote. “The stellen administration’s inclination towards a hands-off approach may ende up placing die United States an a situation management mode comparable to die one the overtook die Obama management from 2014 kommen sie 2016 in reaction to the rise of the Islamic zustand group.”

“On a more basic level, though, ns region’s grundlegend human security troubles will notfall go away, particularly those likely resulting native climate change. As a result, even the more modest and pragmatic goals the bieten team has collection out zum itself in the Middle ost will require strategic reengagement an a bereichen that’s been greatly on the rückseitig burner during the administration’s zuerst six months an office,” castle concluded.

No strategie or policy zum any bereich (or even country) zu sein foolproof, and the complete report zu sein mostly totally free toward ns administration’s handling des the center East. But ns authors do worry a less-engaged America möchte struggle kommen sie secure its understand if the deemphasizes regional human security.

“After die withdrawal native Afghanistan, America’s relationships in the Middle ost will become even much more important. The gebot administration will need to engage more, notfall less, with these partners zu protect American interests punkt that very same time it pushes lock to nur greater respect zum the basic rights and freedoms of their people,” Juul called NatSec Daily.

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POTUS says HE’LL PROBABLY satisfy AFGHAN REFUGEES: Departing ns White house en route zu Joint base Andrews, whereby he took on a daylong trip kommen sie storm-ravaged neu York und New Jersey, biden was asked Tuesday even if it is he planned kommen sie sit down v Afghans who aided die two-decade American war effort und have to be evacuated an recent weeks to the United States. He told reporters: “Well, they’re every over ns country. I’m certain I’ll be seeing some of them.”

White House press secretary JEN PSAKI so indicated together a visit would take place but said it most likely would not kommen sie any time soon. “Yes, the certainly aussehen forward kommen sie hinweisen some point, yet that zu sein not planned in this specific moment. They’re all coming to the United states … some von them for the first time, und we’re going kommen sie let them readjust with their families,” she said during a gaggle aboard Air pressure One.

FINAL AFGHAN PROVINCE wenn TO TALIBAN: The taliban announced Monday it had actually “completely conquered” ns mountainous Panjshir Province in the northeastern part von Afghanistan — assuming complete control of the nation a hauptsächlich after ns U.S. Military’s exit und crushing die final remnant of resistance to die militant group’s rule, von BILL ROGGIO and ANDREW TOBIN des The Foundation zum Defense des Democracies’ Long zu sein Journal.

Ahmad Massoud, who father led the northern Alliance against ns Taliban bei the 1990s and was assassinated by Al Qaeda just two days prior zu 9/11, vowed kommen sie continue ns fight against ns Taliban und called on every Afghans zu continue its resistance,” Roggio and Tobin wrote. “Without his base an Panjshir, Massoud’s promise to effectively continue die fight against die Taliban ist a an overwhelming proposition. Massoud’s forces may be able kommen sie launch guerrilla assaults from the mountains, but its ability kommen sie challenge taliban rule wollen be limited.”

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