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Pentagon Plans to Relocate 30,000 Afghan Refugees into the United States

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Documents obtained by Fox News White House Correspondent Jacqui Heinrich confirm that the Department of Defense is preparing to relocate up to 30,000 Afghan refugees into the United States following the collapse of the U.S.-backed government of Afghanistan.

The document reads, “The situation in Afghanistan may lead to DoS [Department of State] allowing Afghan SIV applicants to be moved to temporary housing locations while still being vetted for parolee status.”

Heinrich reported on Twitter that Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said: “We want to have capacity to get up to several thousand immediately, and want to be prepared for potential of tens of thousands. Bliss & McCoy have capability right now – what’s advantageous is w/ a bit of work, could increase in short order.”

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Kirby added that American citizens will not be given priority evacuation over Afghan SIV applicants.

“Once we get more airlift out of Kabul, we’re going to put as many people on those planes as we can. There will be a mix, not just American citizens, but perhaps some Afghan SIV applicants as well. We’re going to focus on getting people out of the country, then sorting it out at the next stop. It’s not going to be just Americans first, then SIV applicants,” Heinrich reports.

Kirby said that 6,000 troops are expected in Kabul with the objective of keeping the airport open to achieve the goal of evacuating American citizens and Afghan SIVs.

“We are already basically in charge of air traffic control at the airport, so we’re going to be in oversight of the air ops for as long as we can,” he said.

Heinrich also reports that the State Department is to determine who is eligible to be evacuated, and the job of the military is to find “find facilities and infrastructure for refugees to sleep and receive food and medical care during processing.”

“The Pentagon is working closely with the State Department to find overseas and possibly domestic processing locations for additional Afghan refugees who do not qualify for SIV status, falling instead under P-2 and P-1 visas,” Heinrich reports.

“Secretary Austin has made it very clear to the Department and to military leaders that he wants additional options,” Kirby said. “We all share a sense of urgency and we’re going to be leaning forward to help the State Department as much as we can.”

“The President gave us August 31st as an end date, so that’s what we’re focused on,” Kirby concluded.

Following the United States’ hectic withdrawal from the country, the Taliban have swiftly taken over every major city, including the nation’s capital of Kabul, in ways that not even Joe Biden himself could have predicted.

“When I announced our drawdown in April, I said we would be out by September, and we’re on track to meet that target,” said Biden at a July 8 speech announcing the country’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. “Our military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31st. The drawdown is proceeding in a secure and orderly way, prioritizing the safety of our troops as they depart.”

“Our military commanders advised me that once I made the decision to end the war, we needed to move swiftly to conduct the main elements of the drawdown. And in this context, speed is safety,” he said. “And thanks to the way in which we have managed our withdrawal, no one — no one U.S. forces or any forces have — have been lost. Conducting our drawdown differently would have certainly come with an increased risk of safety to our personnel.”

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Later asked if he trusted the Taliban to not invade the country and allow the withdrawal of U.S. forces to proceed without interruption or danger.

“Is that a serious question?” Biden asked the reporter in response, who replied that it was “absolutely” a serious question.

“No, I do not,” Biden answered. Biden added that it was a “silly question” and said, “Do I trust the Taliban? No, but I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and more competent in terms of conducting war.”

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