Amid the disastrous withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and difficulty in evacuating civilians from Kabul airport, President Joe Biden is reportedly planning on forcing US airline companies to lend a helping hand with the transportation of tens of thousands of refugees out of Afghanistan as he struggles to navigate the humanitarian crisis.
“The White House is expected to consider activating the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, or CRAF, created in 1952 in the wake of the post-World War II Berlin Airlift, to provide nearly 20 commercial jets from up to five airlines to augment U.S. military efforts to transport Afghan evacuees from bases in the region,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Officials are considering alternatives for ramping up the evacuation effort, which include expanding the number of bases in the region to reduce overcrowding, officials said, a move that could augment the use of civilian airlines or avert the need for them.”
The report claims that military bases in the United States have ben designated to provide housing for the tens of thousands of refugees who make their way out of the country through the assistance of the US military. The report follows a Reuters report last week that said Biden was concerned about the political impact of importing tens of thousands of Afghan refugees amid the ongoing crisis at the US-Mexico border, which has seen record numbers of illegal border crossings since Biden took office.
According to the Wall Street Journal, commercial airlines would not fly into Afghanistan and will instead provide a ferrying service for Afghans and others stranded at US bases in Qatar, Bahrain, and Germany. The plan is intended to “relieve the pressure on those bases, which are fast filling up with Afghan evacuees as the US expands efforts to fly them out of the airport in Kabul.”
The publication highlighted how the US Military’s Transportation Command has already given notice to civilian airline carriers that they may be conscripted into creating a reserve fleet to assist in the evacuation effort.
“U.S. Transportation Command issued a warning order to U.S. carriers Friday night on the possible activation of CRAF,” said Capt. John Perkins to the Wall Street Journal.
Details of the evacuation plan come as Biden faces pressure both domestic and international over his handling of the crisis, which began last weekend as Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul fell to Taliban militants who swept through the country with alarming speed. The insurgency was punctuated by the collapse of the Afghan national government and the self-appointment of the Taliban as its new rulers.
Biden has faced harsh criticism from NATO allies and the British Parliament, which condemned Biden last week. Describing his attempt to push the blame onto Afghanistan’s soldiers, tens of thousands of whom have fallen in battle against the Taliban, as “shameful,” members of the British government said the US president’s actions caused a situation “far worse” than Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Biden may have “condemned the world to Chinese domination in future and the end of western liberal democracy,” the Daily Wire reported.
“What Biden has done in Afghanistan will go down in ignominy as one of the most shameful and despicable acts of betrayal by any American President. Tens of thousands of men will be slaughtered, thousands of young girls forced to marry these Taliban brutes and 14 million women driven back into slavery,” said Lord Blenchathra.
“President Biden’s speech the other day, blaming everyone and everything except his Administration’s precipitative pull-out, was truly awful,” echoed Lord Dodds of Duncairn. “I fear that the US decision to pull out in the way that it has will have dire consequences. It sends a message to the terrorists and rogue states that the West can be defeated. It sends a message to our friends that, at the end of the day, they can be abandoned. It sends a message to those who want to live in freedom and with human rights guaranteed, especially the women and girls of Afghanistan, that we cannot be relied upon.”