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Blinken says he ordered reviews of State Dept’s evacuation efforts out of Afghanistan By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks on the dying of former secretary of state Colin Powell within the Treaty Room of the State Department in Washington, D.C., U.S. October 18, 2021. Mandel Ngan/Pool by way of REUTERS/File Photo

By Humeyra Pamuk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed on Wednesday that he has ordered a collection of inside reviews of the State Department’s planning and execution of the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan and the relocation efforts, operations that have been extensively criticized as chaotic.

The United States’ two decades-long occupation of Afghanistan culminated in a unexpectedly organized airlift in August during which greater than 124,000 civilians together with Americans, Afghans and others have been evacuated because the Taliban took over. But hundreds of different U.S.-allied Afghans in danger of Taliban persecution have been left behind.

In a speech unveiling new steps to modernize the State Department, Blinken praised the evacuation operation but in addition stated the company must study from this expertise and do higher if an analogous state of affairs presents itself sooner or later.

“There are many things that now, looking back, we can and should ask, ‘Could we have done things differently?’ ‘Could we have taken that step differently?’ ‘Should we have tried that idea first?’ ‘Could we have gotten to that decision more quickly?’,” Blinken stated within the speech on the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia, attended by lawmakers, diplomats and others.

Reuters and different media shops reported final week that the State Department’s inspector common will assessment the tip of the Biden administration’s diplomatic operations in Afghanistan, together with the emergency evacuation of the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

The division’s appearing inspector common may even look into its Special Immigrant Visa (NYSE:) program, the processing of Afghans for admission as refugees, and their resettlement within the United States.

Blinken didn’t give particulars about what exact steps of the evacuation and relocation could be reviewed.

“Now we owe it to ourselves, to our Afghan friends and partners, and to the future State Department employees who might find themselves facing a similar challenge one day to capture all that we learned, to study it, to apply it, to preserve it in a way that it enhances our future planning and helps us prepare better for future contingencies,” he stated.

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