US lawmaker calls plan to evacuate 'allies' from Afghanistan 'complete disaster'
A US lawmaker has described the Biden administration’s plan to evacuate Afghans, who worked with US forces in Afghanistan, a "complete disaster".
The Biden administration decided to grant special visas to Afghan interpreters, drivers, guides, and other locals after US President Joe Biden vowed to withdraw American troops from the country.
However, a US lawmaker, who was involved in the congressional process for granting special visas to the Afghan interpreters and their families, said the Department of Defense (DoD) had not fully anticipated the move, describing the DoD’s plan in this regard as a "complete disaster".
“When they finally made the decision of a hasty surrender and withdrawal, they didn’t anticipate some of the unintended consequences or really play out a lot of the details — [visas] among them,” according to Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.).
At a classified briefing with top national security officials on Capitol Hill, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was asked to detail the US military’s plan to evacuate thousands of Afghan nationals who aided the American invasion and occupation of the country.
Austin didn’t have a plan, according to two people in the room and a military official familiar with the April meeting as cited by Politico.
“We’ll get back to you on that,” Austin replied.
Gallagher said Austin's reply showed a lacking plan which has resulted in a "complete disaster".
“This whole thing is just a complete disaster, and it’s not getting better any time soon,” Gallagher lamented.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is still seeking to pave the way for the evacuation of some 20,000 interpreters and their families, fearing retribution at the hands of Taliban militants after the complete exit of US forces from Afghanistan.