US civilians and Afghan allies only had 72 hours to evacuate, a former CIA officer claims

A former CIA officer and terrorism expert said American civilians and Afghan allies have only 72 hours before evacuations from Kabul are over.

Sam Vadis, who served as head of the Counterterrorism Center’s Weapons of Mass Destruction unit, said Pentagon sources, military officers in Kabul and other former intelligence officers told him that civilian flights from the Afghan capital would effectively end. In the next three days.

The claimed deadline has not been announced or officially verified, but it does raise concerns that US citizens may be left in the Taliban-occupied city.

Tuesday President Joe Biden He confirmed that US forces will leave the country by August 31, a date agreed upon with Taliban — But Vadis says the American civilians who are currently in the city have a much shorter deadline.

Biden decided to withdraw within 72 hours. We’re gone, and it doesn’t matter who’s left on the ground,” the former CIA officer told DailyMail.com.

A former CIA officer and terrorism expert said US civilians and Afghan allies have three days to flee Kabul before the evacuation effort ends. Pictured: US Air Force personnel directing evacuees on a US plane on Tuesday

Crowds of people wait outside Kabul airport, Afghanistan, as Freedom Day approaches on Wednesday

Crowds of people wait outside Kabul airport, Afghanistan, as Freedom Day approaches on Wednesday

From the people inside Kabul, the word they get is that everything will shut down in 72 hours. I suppose this translates to evacuation flights for any civilians ending in 72 hours.

Because just taking out the troops and their equipment takes a certain amount of time. They have to collapse in on themselves to maintain some kind of security perimeter.

“The word is, American citizens don’t matter. Because there is no hard number of employees.

Sam Vadis, a former CIA officer, told DailyMail.com that sources in the Pentagon and Kabul have said that civilian flights from the Afghan capital will effectively end in the next three days.

Sam Vadis, a former CIA officer, told DailyMail.com that sources in the Pentagon and Kabul have said that civilian flights from the Afghan capital will effectively end in the next three days.

Senior generals at press conferences and briefings for lawmakers have refused to reveal the exact number of US citizens still in Kabul, saying simply that they are in the “thousands”.

“What I’m constantly told, and I’ve been told for several days, is that any idea based on circumstances is a wrong idea,” Vadis added. “We are leaving, anyone who does not leave is cut short.

Every time I say it, I find it staggering to hear myself say it, but it seems to be true. We will just leave.

Vadis took the first CIA team to Iraq before the 2003 invasion, and wrote a book about his experience at the agency, Beyond Reform: The Decline and Fall of the CIA.

In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com on Tuesday, he claimed that defense officials also told him that Biden rejected an alternative evacuation plan even after warning that Kabul International Airport could not be defended in the event of an attack.

Vadis said officials with the 18th Airborne Corps suggested that US forces retake Bagram Air Base, about 30 miles north of Kabul, which was abandoned in July due to the limited number of US forces and its surrender to the Taliban by Afghan forces on August 15.

“The original plan that came out of the Eighteenth Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg was, in fact, there is only one rational way to do it,” he said.

We have to recover Bagram and establish a real base of operations in a defensible location with multiple runways that will allow us to operate our own aircraft.

President Biden said Tuesday that the United States is on track to finish evacuations from Afghanistan by the August 31 deadline.  However, Vadis claims that the president decided to withdraw everyone within three days

President Biden said Tuesday that the United States is on track to finish evacuations from Afghanistan by the August 31 deadline. However, Vadis claims that the president decided to withdraw everyone within three days

Afghan families are pictured aboard a military evacuation flight at Hamid Karzai Airport on Tuesday as the United States prepares to withdraw from the country, while other Western countries are set to follow.

Afghan families are pictured aboard a military evacuation flight at Hamid Karzai Airport on Tuesday as the United States prepares to withdraw from the country, while other Western countries are set to follow.

Many people have told me that this was the plan, it was the only rational plan, and the answer [from the White House] It was “that doesn’t happen”.

“The idea of ​​bringing in more troops, and of restoring Bagram, has been completely dismissed.”

Vadis claimed that Bagram was sacked despite a briefing by senior military officials to the White House not to use Hamid Karzai International Airport, downtown Kabul, as a base due to the weakness of US forces that were attacked by the Taliban.

“It has been clarified regarding Kabul International Airport that it is a completely unworkable military solution at the outset because it is a situation that is militarily untenable,” Vadis said.

It is a very small circumference in a single airstrip surrounded by high ground potentially approaching tens of thousands of enemy fighters.

The only resupply is through that runway, and that airstrip can be rendered essentially useless any time the enemy decides to fire missiles and artillery onto the runway.

Vadis said Biden was told, “You’re putting our troops on the ground in a situation that we can’t afford if there’s a conflict.”

The military has told him explicitly that this is not a viable military option, which means that if you do this, unless he is very lucky, we will lose very badly and we will be lucky if we see any of our people again. This is what translates into the American military language.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby dismissed the idea of ​​retaking Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan when asked by reporters on Monday, calling the plan a

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby dismissed the idea of ​​retaking Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan when asked by reporters on Monday, calling the plan an “expenditure of resources.”

Vadis said officials with the 18th Airborne Corps suggested that US forces retake Bagram Air Base (pictured) about 30 miles north of Kabul, but the idea was said to have been rejected by the White House.

Vadis said officials with the 18th Airborne Corps suggested that US forces retake Bagram Air Base (pictured) about 30 miles north of Kabul, but the idea was said to have been rejected by the White House.

“Biden made this decision knowing that he was putting an American force in a position that he probably knew wasn’t even guaranteed to get the troops out – forget about the American citizens in Kabul.”

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby rejected the idea of ​​repatriating Bagram when reporters questioned him on Monday.

What you’re talking about is going to be an outlay of resources, people, as well as likely an increase in the threat they’d have to try to go back and… take back Bagram Air Force Base, which is the size of a small city.

It was closed as part of the rollback. It was always meant to be closed as part of a rollback. It was the last base to be handed over to the Afghans.

Kirby declined to comment to reporters about the alleged 82nd Airborne Division’s proposal to take over the air base.

A military contractor, who spoke to DailyMail.com on condition of anonymity, said the Defense Department had asked him to source pilots and planes to evacuate civilians from Kabul.

He claimed that sources in Kabul also told him that the deadline for evacuating civilians is fast approaching and would be much closer to the August 31 Taliban decision to cut off US forces.

“They’re talking about uniformed military personnel by the 31st, and they’re giving a shorter window to all non-military civilians,” he said.

The contractor added that after preparing the pilots and making the planes available to evacuate the thousands waiting in Kabul to be rescued, senior government officials called off the mission.

“We have been contacted to provide planes for the airlift to start taking people out,” he said. We presented a bunch of planes and then were denied permission to land. Go and conclude.

“A couple of weeks ago the US Army came to me and said ‘Can you find planes and pilots willing to fly to Kabul? ”

I said: Yes, no problem. The next day I was working on it. We said we could have that amount of planes, we could carry so many packages, and they’re ready to fly.

They said OK, we’ll get the permits. They came back for permits and were told no.

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