CHICAGO (The Donlon Report) — Despite American troops exiting Afghanistan, former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback believes people should not give up on trying to rescue vulnerable Afghans and U.S. citizens still in the country.
“You keep working at it. It’s a porous country with lots of openings along the borders. There are people still just trying desperately to get out,” Brownback said.
Hours before President Joe Biden’s Tuesday deadline for shutting down a final airlift, and thus ending the U.S. war, Air Force transport planes carried a remaining contingent of troops from Kabul airport late Monday.
Thousands of troops had spent a harrowing two weeks protecting the airlift of tens of thousands of Afghans, Americans and others seeking to escape a country once again ruled by Taliban militants.
Brownback shared his concern that some of the most vulnerable will be those who are a religious minority.
“If you’re a religious minority, you have to get out. This is a life or death situation. We saw genocide in northern Iraq when our troops were pulled back there initially. And we’ll see a genocide here of religious minorities if people don’t get out or go somehow into deep hiding,” Brownback stated.
He has been working specifically with those in the religious minority to work on evacuation plans. He says that work will now switch to attempting evacuations in third-party countries with the U.S. fully withdrawing.
“They’re looking for any sort of private means now that they can and any sort of recipient third countries that would receive them. I think the key piece, frankly, right now is getting third countries, they’d be willing to receive them,” Brownback said.
Nations around the world have stepped up to accept refugees including Germany, Japan and Australia where Afghans have been beginning the process of resettling.
In some cases, these countries have also acted as a temporary location for Afghans applying for entry to the United States, but needing to flee Afghanistan due to potential imminent danger.
Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, stated that in total 123,000 civilians were evacuated over 18 days with about an average of 7,500 leaving a day.