Arguably the most hawkish member of the Senate, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, is urging the White House to 'get serious' about the ongoing crisis of trapped Americans in Kabul who are desperately attempting to make it to the airport. He's urging for a bigger military operation centered at Hamid Karzai International Airport, scene of the past days of chaos which has resulted in multiple Afghan deaths.
"Time for Biden to authorize military to stop rolling humiliation, expand perimeter at Kabul airport, and rescue Americans trapped behind enemy lines," Sen. Cotton told a Breitbart reporter. "Anything less amounts to abandonment of fellow Americans and shameful abdication of duty in moment of crisis."
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday there's still a staggering number of trapped Americans inside Kabul: "The collapse of the Ghani government left as many as 15,000 Americans and permanent residents along with an unknown number of other Westerners and foreigners trapped behind Taliban lines."
Videos began emerging by mid-week of stuck Americans pushing their way through crowds outside barbed-wire fenced roadblocks set up at airport entrances, on the other side of which are US Marines and allied troops.
Yet there doesn't appear to be much of a plan at all coming from the Biden White House or Pentagon leadership. During a Wednesday afternoon press conference Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made a stunning admission: "We don't have the capability to go out and collect large numbers of people," he said. This after being asked about the possibility of a US security force opening some kind of rescue and safety corridor outside the confines of the airport.
Scene from the 2001 movie "Black Hawk Down" which attempted to present the real events of 1993 Somalia during the Battle of Mogadishu, where 18 American soldiers were killed, including two Delta Force operatives...
However, should the US troops venture outside the airport vicinity, it would very likely result in a firefight with the Taliban, which would inevitably lead to more American forces being called in. Things are already poised to get worse at any moment.
Likely the Pentagon wants to avoid a "Black Hawk down" type further unraveling of the situation, which in such an unpredictable and volatile scenario would be very likely - and may still happen regardless - given US troops might stay guarding the airport for weeks as evacuation efforts continue, and as the situation remains fluid, with Taliban just on the other side of the airport walls.