ESCLUSIVO: ‘We’re leaving in 72 ore tra la mattina della vigilia di Natale e la fine del giorno di Natale – it doesn’t matter who’s left on the ground.’ Former CIA officer says he’s been told the deadline to evacuate Americans from Kabul is far shorter than August 31 cutoff
American civilians and Afghan allies have just 72 hours before evacuations from Kabul end, a former CIA officer and terrorism expert has claimed.
Sam Faddis, who served as the head of the Counter Terrorism Center’s Weapons of Mass Destruction unit, said sources in the Pentagon, military officers in Kabul and other former intelligence agency officers have told him that flights for civilians out of the Afghan capital will actually end in the next three days.
The alleged deadline has not been officially announced or verified, but raises fears that American citizens could be left behind in the Taliban-occupied city.
On Tuesday President Joe Biden confirmed that US forces will be leaving the country by August 31, a date agreed with the talebani – but Faddis claims American civilians currently in the city have a far shorter deadline.
‘Biden decided we’re pulling out within 72 ore. We’re gone, and it doesn’t matter who’s left on the ground,’ the ex-CIA officer told DailyMail.com.
American civilians and Afghan allies have three days to flee Kabul before evacuation efforts end, a former CIA officer and terrorism expert has claimed. Nella foto: US Air Force members guide evacuees on board a US aircraft on Tuesday
Crowds of people wait outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan as the clock to freedom ticks down Wednesday
‘From folks inside Kabul, the word they’re getting is everything shuts down in 72 ore. I presume that translates to evacuation flights of any civilians terminate in 72 ore.
‘Because just getting the troops and their equipment out takes a certain period of time. They have to collapse on themselves to maintain some sort of security perimeter.
‘The word is, it doesn’t matter about American citizens. Because there’s no hard headcount.’
Former CIA officer Sam Faddis told DailyMail.com that sources in the Pentagon and Kabul said flights for civilians out of the Afghan capital will actually end in the next three days
Top generals have refused in press conferences and briefings to lawmakers to disclose the precise number of American citizens still in Kabul, simply saying they were in the ‘thousands’.
‘What I’m constantly being told, and have been told for many days now, is that any notion this is conditions-based is wrong,’ Faddis added. ‘We’re leaving, anybody who is not gone is cut away.
‘Every time I say it I find it staggering to even hear myself say it, but it’s apparently true. We’re just going to leave.’
Faddis took the first CIA team into Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion and wrote a book about his experiences in the agency, Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com on Tuesday, he claimed that defense officials had also told him that Biden rejected an alternative evacuation plan even after being warned that Kabul’s international airport could not be defended if attacked.
Faddis said officials in the 18th Airborne Corps proposed US forces retake Bagram air base about 30 miles north of Kabul, which was abandoned in July due to the limited number of American troops and surrendered to the Taliban by Afghan troops on August 15.
‘The original plan that came out of the 18th Airborne Corps in Fort Bragg was, there’s really only one rational way to do this,’ Egli ha detto.
‘We’ve got to go retake Bagram and establish a real base of operations at a defensible location with multiple runways that will allow us to operate our own aircraft.
President Biden on Tuesday said the US is on track to finish evacuations from Afghanistan by the August 31 Scadenza. Faddis, però, claims the president has decided to pull everyone out in three days
Afghan families are pictured boarding a military evacuation flight at Hamid Karzai Airport on Tuesday as the US prepares to withdraw from the country, with other western nations set to follow
‘I’ve been told by multiple people that this was the plan, it was the only rational plan, and the answer [from the White House] was ‘that’s not happening.’
‘The idea of introducing more forces, retaking Bagram, was just ruled out completely.’
Faddis claimed that Bagram was dismissed despite senior military officials briefing the White House against using Kabul’s city-center civilian airport, Hamid Karzai International, as a base because of the vulnerability of US troops were it attacked by the Taliban.
‘It was made very clear in regard to Kabul International Airport that it is a completely non-viable military solution to begin with because it is a militarily indefensible position,’ Faddis said.
‘It’s a tiny little perimeter on a single airstrip surrounded by high ground with potentially tens of thousands of enemy fighters closing in.
‘The only resupply is by that single airstrip, and that airstrip can be rendered essentially useless any time the enemy decides by firing rockets and artillery onto the runway.’
Faddis said Biden was told: ‘You are placing our troops on the ground in a position which we cannot hold if it is contested.’
‘The military told him explicitly this is not a viable military option, meaning if you do this, unless we are extraordinarily lucky, we are going to lose very badly and be lucky if we ever see any of our people ever again. That’s what that translates to in US military parlance,’ Egli ha detto.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby dismissed the idea of retaking Bagram airbase in Afghanistan when questioned by journalists on Monday, calling the plan an ‘expenditure of resources’
Faddis said officials in the 18th Airborne Corps suggested US forces retake the Bagram air base (nella foto) di 30 miles north of Kabul, but the idea was allegedly dismissed by the White House
‘Biden made that decision knowing that he was placing an American force in a position where potentially he knew going in he wasn’t even guaranteed to get the troops out – forget about the American citizens in Kabul.’
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby dismissed the idea of retaking Bagram when questioned by journalists on Monday.
‘What you’re talking about would be an expenditure of resources, and personnel, as well as an increase most likely to the threat that they’re under to try to go back and… retake Bagram airbase, which is the size of a small city,’ Egli ha detto.
‘It was closed down as part of the retrograde. It was always supposed to be closed down as part of the retrograde. It was the last base to be turned over to the Afghans.’
Kirby declined to comment to reporters about the alleged 82nd Airborne Division denied proposal to seize the airbase.
A military contractor who spoke to DailyMail.com on the condition of anonymity said he had been asked by the DoD to source pilots and planes to evacuate civilians from Kabul.
He claimed that he too had been told by sources in Kabul that the deadline for the civilian evacuation was swiftly approaching and would be much sooner than the Taliban’s August 31 cutoff for all American troops.
‘They’re talking uniformed military personnel out by the 31st, and they’re giving a shorter window for all non-military civilians,’ Egli ha detto.
The contractor added that after readying pilots and making planes available to evacuate the thousands waiting in Kabul for rescue, senior government officials scrapped the job.
‘We were approached to provide aircraft for the airlift to start getting people out,’ Egli ha detto. ‘We provided a bunch of aircraft and then were denied permission to land. Go figure.
‘Two weeks ago US military came to me and said ‘Can you find planes and pilots willing to fly into Kabul?’
‘I said ‘Yes, nessun problema.’ The next day I was working on it. We said we could get these amount of planes, can carry this many packs, they’re willing to fly in.
‘They said ok, we’ll get the clearances. They went back to get the clearances and they were told no.’