Saturday, December 4

the Taliban attack those who try to gain access with bicycle locks


Correspondent in New York

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The evacuation of the US, the country with the largest presence in Afghanistan and which employed the largest number of Afghans now in danger, is far from picking up pace and being carried out effectively. On Thursday, according to information from the State Department, there were 6,000 people already processed inside the Kabul airport – the only way out of the country for most Americans and Afghans – and 20 planes were scheduled to take off to remove them. The Pentagon said yesterday that only three thousand people were evacuated that day, far from the capacity of between five and nine thousand per day that the US Army claims to have.

Of the 3,000 evacuees, only 350 were US citizens, which gives an idea of ​​the difficulties in getting to the airport, surrounded by a cordon and several Taliban checkpoints. Despite the fact that the US authorities have said for days that the Taliban have been negotiating to offer ‘safe conduct’ to anyone who wants to get to the airport, this has not yet happened.

The tension and violence They have reigned in these days on the outskirts of the airport and, although many Americans and many Afghans with visas or documentation to be able to leave have managed to arrive, it is a risk to try to access the airfield. The Taliban have tried these days to dissuade the crowd that congregates around with shots in the air, although there have also been injuries, and with Assaults with knives, such as whips made with bicycle locks.

Sam Lerman, a veteran of the US air forces, assured “The Washington Post” that members of the US Army also violently reject the entry of Afghans.

The organizational fiasco in the evacuation of Afghanistan it is assuming a political crisis for Joe Biden. Above all, because the signs are growing that it could have anticipated the crisis. A telegram sent on July 13 from the US embassy in Kabul warned Washington that the situation in the country was deteriorating sharply, that the Taliban’s drive was growing and that the Afghan government would not be able to contain it for long. The internal communication, signed by 23 members of the diplomatic delegation and to which ‘The Wall Street Journal’ has had access, warned of the potential fall of Kabul shortly after the US troops left and gave recommendations on how to mitigate the crisis and accelerate evacuation tasks.

The telegram contrasts with the version given in recent days by the Biden Administration. “There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of the Afghan army and government in eleven days,” US Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said this week.

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