President Joe Biden’s State Department reportedly moved in June to abolish a crisis response office developed in order to help Americans evacuate dangerous foreign countries, as the Taliban was beginning to capture territory in Afghanistan.
An internal memo obtained by the Beacon and reported Wednesday announced the “discontinuation of the establishment, and termination of, the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR).” A State Department spokesman told the Beacon the Biden administration did not abolish any program, as it “was never established in the first place.” The State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual reportedly listed the CCR as operative as recently as January, though a source told the Beacon the State Department paused CCR’s funding prior to a review of the bureau.
The CCR was created during former President Donald Trump’s administration in late 2020 and aimed to provide “aviation, logistics, and medical support capabilities for the Department’s operational bureaus, thereby enhancing the secretary’s ability to protect American citizens overseas in connection with overseas evacuations in the aftermath of a natural or man-made disaster,” according to the Beacon.
BIG BREAKING: Biden State Dept Abolished Trump-Era Crisis Response Bureau Just Months Before the Taliban Took Afghanistan — The agency was meant to coordinate logistics in the case of an overseas emergency, like that unfolding in Kabul https://t.co/L5mZd6IsGC
— Adam Kredo (@Kredo0) August 18, 2021
The CCR halt reportedly occurred just months before the Taliban started making large territorial gains in the country as the U.S. and NATO allies withdrew, ultimately ending in the toppling of Kabul and the U.S.-created Afghan government over the weekend.(RELATED: Biden Admin Had Zero Indication That Afghanistan Could Fall So Quickly, Gen. Milley Claims)
The State Department announced Wednesday that it “cannot ensure” American citizens stuck in Afghanistan “safe passage to the Hamid Karzai International Airport,” currently surrounded by Taliban militants, Defense One reported. Estimates of the number of U.S. citizens now trapped in Afghanistan vary, but have ranged as high as 15,000.