“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.
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.DONATE
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