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Pentagon Orders Commercial Airlines To Assist With Afghanistan Evacuations

Pentagon Orders Commercial Airlines To Assist With Afghanistan Evacuations

“The planes would not fly into Kabul but instead would be used to transport those who have already been flown out of the country to military bases in Europe and the Middle East.”

The Biden administration’s disgraceful mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal continues apace.

On Saturday, they shut down the Kabul airport that they ludicrously hoped would be all that was needed for all allied countries to evacuate their personnel after Biden pulled the U.S. military presence (before having to send back 6,000 troops to help clean up his mess).  Apparently, they wanted to clear the backlog of Americans and Afghans before allowing more into the airport.  Meanwhile, people are being crushed to death and overcome by the sweltering heat outside the airport.

After belligerently defending and outright lying about the absolute disaster he created in Kabul, Biden (or his team, anyway) finally realizes that this is a giant cluster than must be corrected if he has any hope of saving his presidency.

To that end, the Pentagon has invoked a little-used provision that permits the federal government to enlist the services of commercial airlines.  The airlines will not be going to Kabul, but will instead be clearing out refugees and ferrying them elsewhere.

CNBC reports:

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered U.S. commercial airlines to provide planes to help speed up Afghanistan evacuation efforts, the Pentagon said Sunday.

The planes would not fly into Kabul but instead would be used to transport those who have already been flown out of the country to military bases in Europe and the Middle East. That would allow military aircraft to focus on operations in and out of the Afghan capital, the Pentagon said.

The Defense Department activated the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, a nearly 70-year-old program created in the wake of the Berlin airlift to provide a backup by commercial air carriers for a “major national defense emergency.” It is the third time the CRAF has been activated. Previously it was used in the early 1990s and early 2000s during the Iraq wars.

The activation is for 18 aircraft: three each from American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, and Omni Air; two from Hawaiian Airlines; and four from United Airlines.

United Airlines’ first flight under CRAF took off Sunday from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

“CRAF activation provides the Department of Defense access to commercial air mobility resources to augment our support to the Department of State in the evacuation of U.S. citizens and personnel, Special Immigrant Visa applicants, and other at-risk individuals from Afghanistan,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Of course, this would not be necessary if the Afghanistan withdrawal had been planned and executed properly in the first place.


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Idiotic bullshit for headlines so they can ‘OMG DO SOMETHING’.

The military has MORE than enough planes to fly anybody anywhere they wanted (IF ALLOWED TO), and the Air National Guard has hundreds more planes that they could send at the drop of a hat.

The fact that they’re doing this bullshit and sending CIVILIAN aircraft – and oh, by the way, only telling them to send a laughable EIGHTEEN PLANES – instead of activating the Air National Guard or sending more military planes tells you that its just more cynical bullshit for headlines so it LOOKS like they’re ‘doing everything’.

Just like everything else these incompetent pieces of shit do, they care more about the APPEARANCE of doing things than actually doing anything effective.

Just like I said the other day. This administration is staffed with incompetent bureaucrats trying frantically to ensure SOMEBODY ELSE gets blamed for this disaster because they ‘did everything they could’, and nobody is interested in actually SOLVING THE PROBLEM.

    JHogan in reply to Olinser. | August 22, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    Yup. The purpose is to make it look like they are doing something.

    They care more about appearances and spin than they do about the lives of Americans trapped in Afghanistan.

    Americans Held Hostage In Afghanistan: Day 7.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to JHogan. | August 22, 2021 at 4:49 pm

      “THIS… is c n.n “

      Another Voice in reply to JHogan. | August 22, 2021 at 6:40 pm

      British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will convene a meeting of leaders from the Group of Seven nations on Tuesday for “urgent talks on the situation in Afghanistan.”
      (The next annual G-7 was originally slated for Oct. ’22)

      Each of the Seven leaders weighed in on what they have done to bring home their people and those Afghans who supported them.

      This will be a conference of critical need especially when the leaders will be putting a great deal of pressure on Biden to answer face to face and not on the phone. it shouldn’t take them long to have it become evident how incompetent Dementia Joe is. It’ll be a come-uppance on the world stage to be taken to the wood shed even if he remains in his own mind he is their equal if not better.

      It also could be part of the plan to nationalize all of our industries. This is still America and they are afraid of the patriotism that still lies at our core so they are still masking their Marxism behind the need to address after crisis. We truly will own nothing once this is over.

      Now if we could just decide as a people to take off our masks! How much courage would that take???

      Yes, SecDef Austin, the black, has said his greatest concern is systemic racism in our military.
      Biden is surrounded by Democratic insiders like Susan Rice the liar, Buttigieg the incompetent “wife” of a gay. Biden Admin has ignored an adverse SCOTUS ruling against it.

      Democrats are committed to creating a large new Venezuela. Thus the open border, canceling Keystone pipeline, increasing imports from Saudi, raging inflation. What could be better? Doubt me not, it does not take a long time. It did not in Venezuela, did it?

    henrybowman in reply to Olinser. | August 22, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Oh, I dunno, I mean, it’s going to look great on their resumes to have to admit that they were responsible for creating a “major national defense emergency.” How many of those do we have in a century?

    cashin in reply to Olinser. | August 22, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Alright, Biden messed this up hard and should be resigning because of it. But I work in the airline industry;

    These 18 airplanes are likely all wide bodies, with a huge lifting capacity. They’re also better equipped to fly passengers as opposed to the equipment that USAF Heavy lifters are suited for. Most importantly, it’s actually cheaper to pay these airlines to run these flights then covert and then operate USAF lifters.

    They will do at least 2 trips daily, but they could likely do up to 4 with appropriate staffing.

    Running only 2 trips a day, they could move up to 12,000 people a day, which is more than sufficient. I mean we’re talking about moving 84,000 people easily in the span of a week.

    Biden and his administration are a bunch of douchebags and Trump really won the 2020 election. But this decision is not an awful one.

      Olinser in reply to cashin. | August 22, 2021 at 6:11 pm

      Nobody is questioning airplanes can carry people.

      The idea that they need a paltry 18 aircraft and this is some amazing contribution is ludicrous.

      The problem is getting people TO THE AIRPORT in Afghanistan, and then OUT OF THE AIRPORT in Afghanistan,

      This does absolutely nothing to accomplish that. It’s bullshit window dressing ‘OMG WE’RE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN’.

        Military planes have flown out of Kabul with EIGHT people. This is ridiculous kabuki theater, meant only to show that Biden suddenly cares . . . after the fact. If he actually did give a damn about anything but crowing about getting America out of Afghanistan by the 20-year anniversary of 9/11, he would have done this thing better from the get-go. He is a disgrace, his entire National Security team is a disgrace. Invoking this WWII-era commercial airliner program is a disgrace. Dress it up all you like, but this is an historic disaster that will have long-term repercussions not just for America but for the entire world.

          Understand that it was the much lower level planners at Scott AFB who likely requested activation of the CRAF. They are planning this from a logistics POV, not a media one.

          Yes, crap all over the top brass and the White House. But study some logistics before dumping all over the actual plans.

          Signed: An airlift/tanker guy

        JHogan in reply to Olinser. | August 22, 2021 at 7:56 pm

        Exactly. The issue has never been whether or not we have enough aircraft to get tens of thousands of civilians out of Afghanistan fairly quickly. We do. No one has ever made than an issue.

        The issue is getting the over ten thousand Americans trapped in Afghanistan to the airport. How TF do they safely get to the airport?

        There is a very calculated and deliberate effort to constantly change the subject whenever that issue comes up. They are always trying to change the subject, trying to make it appear they are in control and that things are proceeding according to plan. Except for the part about how American citizens get safely to the airport through a gauntlet of Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS, and their supporters.

        Not to mention the billions of dollars worth of weaponry we are leaving behind and in the hands of the Taliban… and al-Qaeda… and ISIS.

          jb4 in reply to JHogan. | August 22, 2021 at 10:01 pm

          A military background guy on Fox just said that there is no way Americans in Kandahar, 480 kilometers from Kabul can get there. His estimate is that to do get everybody out would now take another 6,000 soldiers, recapturing the airfields and 6-8 months (not weeks). Since Biden obviously will not go for that, it seems we face a big time hostage situation and, if we attempt to do that, the Taliban will be executing Americans right and left on TV. Lose-lose, it seems.

          UserP in reply to JHogan. | August 23, 2021 at 7:49 am

          It’s been lose-lose since the day Biden was sworn in.

          GWB in reply to JHogan. | August 23, 2021 at 9:01 am

          The issue has never been whether or not we have enough aircraft to get tens of thousands of civilians out of Afghanistan fairly quickly.
          If you activate the CRAF, you are correct.

        GWB in reply to Olinser. | August 23, 2021 at 8:58 am

        Study logistics before crapping all over people who actually do.
        Cashin is correct.

      gibbie in reply to cashin. | August 22, 2021 at 7:24 pm

      Thanks! This is informative – a rare and wonderful thing these days.

    GWB in reply to Olinser. | August 23, 2021 at 8:57 am

    While I won’t disagree with your general comment, I will disagree that we have “more than enough planes.” Airlift has been a shortfall for 20+ years. And aerial refueling has been a shortfall for a while, too – which is necessary if you’re going to “fly anybody anywhere they wanted.”

    The reason the CRAF was activated in the early 90s (1990-91) was because we could not transport the forces needed to the middle east without drawing it out.

    Remember, too, that those airlift/tanker assets are also still necessary doing their “day jobs” resupplying other US bases and moving personnel about.

    Lastly, 18 aircraft is a significant bit of lift. I presume they’re all personnel and not cargo. Using them as the extensions from a hub will allow a much more efficient (not that this crowd will manage that – if they let the guys in Scott AFB run out, it will be slightly more efficient) immediate airlift from Afghanistan.

    I’m going to bet it was the airlift guys at Scott who asked for CRAF activation, not the boneheads in the Pentagon or Slow Joe’s bunch.

    GWB in reply to Olinser. | August 23, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Regardless of who requested the CRAF activation, or how useless it might be, this is the most important sentence in the post:
    Of course, this would not be necessary if the Afghanistan withdrawal had been planned and executed properly in the first place.

Less than 200 Americans out…..thousands of random Afghani. This is BS.

Sending commercial vehicles into a war zone is almost as good as sending a cargo helicopter with several dozen sitting American and Afghan ducks into a war zone, as sending an ambassador to be sodomized, and some ex-military security personnel, to be all aborted. Nice (pun intended).

Competency would also contribute to diversity.

    n.n in reply to Anchovy. | August 23, 2021 at 5:49 am

    Diversity of individuals, minority of one. The progressive conception of “diversity” is based on systemic racism, sexism, ageism, and other class-based bigotry in the spirit and letter of the Pro-Choice religion that denies men and women’s dignity and agency, and reduces human life to a negotiable property.

a couple versions of air force one are available, biden won’t be be leaving the dc / delaware area for a long time

The purpose of this order is to make it look like they’re doing something.

    lhw in reply to JHogan. | August 22, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    They are making it sort of look like Dunkirk. If Biden had organized Dunkirk they would have brought back 300,000 German troops and zero British and French troops.

    It is amazing the cretin is still digging in his hole with his shovel.

What, with social workers in tow?

I can sum it up in 7 words: “A day late and a dollar short.”

    Ben Kent in reply to UserP. | August 22, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    @UserP $2 Trillion short.

    That’s the total tax-payer money that was blown. The only way to salvage some it and a bit of dignity as we left – was to leave the right way. He could not even do that. Mind you, Biden has been dealing with Afghanistan for 20 years. First as Senator, then VP and nor President. It’s not like he just walked in the door and hear about this place called Afghanistan.

      UserP in reply to Ben Kent. | August 23, 2021 at 7:57 am

      “Biden has been dealing with Afghanistan for 20 years”

      First with his evil mind (wicked as can be).
      Then with his degraded mind (here and there, now and then)
      And now without a mind (he doesn’t give it any mind)

negative covid test or fully vaccinated and mask required before boarding?

I seriously doubt there are real Americans waiting for flights. Americans means Afghans who were given American citizenship, by our bankrupt government that has handed out 160 million citizenships in the last 50 years.

This is a Fascist move. We are living under a form of soft totalitarianism and by the correct definition of the term, the USG is a fascist state only nominally a democratic republic.

It will become totally apparent when the first corporations (probably not multinationals) have their assets seized or frozen “for the public good” and see what they have signed for in this Devil’s Bargain.

How likely is it the government will follow CDC established Covid guidelines? Not at all likely. Yet, the government is moving towards requiring Americans to have been vaccinated to fly the same airplanes.

This is bull. Maybe we need to take a harder look at the Fourth Amendment to stop the government from just seizing whatever the the hey they feel like, whenever they feel like it. Maybe the US needs its property Rights to include a Right of Refusal.

    GWB in reply to ss396. | August 23, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Ummmm, I think you should first know it’s the FIFTH Amendment that you’re talking about. Second, you should know that the airlines get paid for this. It is also a contract into which they have all entered.

    So, while property rights in America need serious attention, this is not one of the places where they are at stake. Lighten up, Francis.

      ss396 in reply to GWB. | August 23, 2021 at 10:24 am

      Argggh – massive brain freeze there over the 4th vs. 5th. Sorry about that. And I know that the companies are getting compensated. But it’s too easy for the government to just grab assets whenever they feel like it. What with eminent domain, civil forfeiture, and the type of compelled compliance described in this article – don’t you think it’s a little too easy for government to grab what they feel like? Do you agree that Kelo was properly decided, even though that land remains undeveloped? Letters of Marque were an allowance, a permission for private enterprise to act as quasi-government enterprises and avoid criminality / liability for their actions. Those letters were not a compulsion. And I know that there is a centuries-old history for eminent domain.

      But don’t you think that it’s becoming too easy to compel citizen compliance at a dictatorial whimsy?

        GWB in reply to ss396. | August 23, 2021 at 10:43 am

        You do understand this is a CONTRACT they enter, right?
        This is not something that they are simply compelled to do? They have a signed contract with the gov’t to provide these services within certain requirements, including how long they have to respond. The gov’t is NOT “grabbing” anything here.

        Making the argument you do about CRAF diminishes the force of your other arguments. And you shouldn’t do that, because those are valid.

Wait, the admin that touts socialism and the belief that the state is mother, the state is father….. just turned to capitalist companies to bail them out from their failures. Got it.