Biden must authorize the U.S. military to expand the perimeter around the Kabul airport and retake an important airfield to help with evacuations, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, tweeted early Friday.
Crenshaw served as a Navy SEAL for a decade and was wounded in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province in 2012.
Two things need to happen, and only Biden can authorize:
- US military must be allowed to operate outside Kabul airport to get American citizens.
2: Retake Bagram airfield, thus giving us more options for evacuations. Biden created this mess and needs to take decisive action,” he said.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., also called on Biden to act swiftly to save Americans who are, in effect, “hostages of the Taliban.”
Cotton laid into the president over his administration’s “ill-planned, chaotic withdrawal” in the country, which was followed by additional subsequent blunders, including “relying on the Taliban’s good graces to ensure the safety of our citizens.
The Republican pointed to other western countries—like Britain and France—that are said to have deployed teams of specialized forces to extract citizens behind Taliban lines.
The Washington Post reported that Paris deployed an elite police team to pick up nationals and Afghans who’ve been sheltering at the city’s old French embassy. The report also said that British paratroopers have been deployed on rescue missions.
Cotton, who served with the 101st Airborne Division and saw combat in Iraq, said if Biden does not rescue trapped Americans it would amount “to an abandonment of our fellow Americans and a shameful abdication of duty in a moment of crisis.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said during a Thursday news briefing that the government had received a “small handful of reports” of American citizens who were unable to reach the airport. But he also said that though U.S. officials were aware of reports that interpreters and former Afghan military officers were being hunted and killed by the Taliban forces, he could not confirm their veracity.
Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, vowed to bring home all the Americans stuck in the country. The U.S. is believed to have about 6,000 troops there.