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As US military sticks to airport, British and French forces are rescuing their citizens in Kabul: reports

daftandbarmy

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That's got to be beyond frustrating...

As US military sticks to airport, British and French forces are rescuing their citizens in Kabul: reports​


As the Defense Department continues to stick to its plans of not reaching out into Kabul to assist U.S. personnel and Afghan helpers evacuate, British and French forces have done so to rescue their citizens, multiple outlets report.

The Daily Mail reported that London deployed an additional 300 troops to Kabul specifically to extract trapped British nationals earlier in the week. Within hours of touching down in Kabul, the British troops retrieved some 200 British nationals from around Kabul, the Telegraph reported. Prompting the mission were reports of Taliban hunting down former Afghan government officials, along with Britons stuck behind a web of Taliban checkpoints lining the route to the airport.

Additionally, France 24 reports that the French military has been conducting similar operations since Monday. French President Emmanuel Macron thanked French security forces on Twitter for executing a ‘sensitive operation’ which evacuated more than 200 French and Afghans.

News of these operations by NATO partners in Afghanistan leaves some Americans asking for Washington to follow suit. Matt Zeller, who served in Afghanistan as an Army intelligence officer, and is now a member of the Association of Wartime Allies, a group dedicated to relocating Afghans who helped the U.S., expressed his frustration on Facebook.

“Some of our NATO allies have already figured out better solutions. Some, like the French, are just going out with their Special Forces and getting their people by whatever means necessary. Mr. President, if the French can do it, so can we,” Zeller wrote.

Zeller’s frustrations stem from a chaotic scene around the HKIA that prevents potential evacuees from reaching safety. Earlier this week, Zeller told Military Times that the situation in Kabul was dire and shaping up to be “worse than Saigon.”

“There’s total chaos at the airport, this is the absolute fiasco we all learned about, and nobody listened to,” Zeller told Military Times. “They need to then begin establishing secure corridors in Kabul, so people can get to the airport because what’s happened is the Taliban have erected checkpoints everywhere.”

 

CBH99

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I’m going to play ‘heartless dick’ for a moment here…

I understand evacuating government employees working at embassies.

I understand evacuating Afghan employees & contractors working at those embassies, as they face genuine and immediate danger.

I do not understand going out into a city which is very much under Taliban control, with checkpoints popping up all over the place, to rescue citizens who are there on their own volition & just happen to be stuck in place. (There was plenty of warning when the US was going to withdraw entirely, and being there on their own volition was piss poor judgement.)


I hope the latter isn’t the case.
 

Good2Golf

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It depends on what agreements the US has with the Taliban.

UK Para and FRASOF d*ck measuring and racing around the city is fine until it heads south. I’d suggest that people need to reel in their necks from directly or indirectly insinuating the 82nd AB to be behaving cowardly.

Would anyone be saying that CANSOF operators on the ground are being cowardly, because we don’t see them in Toronto Sun articles openly racing around the town patting themselves on the back with how awesome they are collecting Canadians and Afghans who helped Canada?

Others may, but I certainly won’t be part of the crowd raising pitchforks in the air for how US forces are working the situation in the ground…
 

daftandbarmy

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It depends on what agreements the US has with the Taliban.

UK Para and FRASOF d*ck measuring and racing around the city is fine until it heads south. I’d suggest that people need to reel in their necks from directly or indirectly insinuating the 82nd AB to be behaving cowardly.

Would anyone be saying that CANSOF operators on the ground are being cowardly, because we don’t see them in Toronto Sun articles openly racing around the town patting themselves on the back with how awesome they are collecting Canadians and Afghans who helped Canada?

Others may, but I certainly won’t be part of the crowd raising pitchforks in the air for how US forces are working the situation in the ground…

It's OK... the pitchforks are being pointed - quite rightly - at Biden right now.

If things get worse, as they likely will, any RoE the 82nd and other US troops are being constrained by might change to avoid/reduce mass loss of life. My guess is that the British and French are rushing to collect their charges, and get out, before it all goes pear shaped:


Biden to address chaotic Kabul evacuation amid criticism​


Facing a firestorm of criticism, President Joe Biden plans to speak Friday about the chaotic evacuation of Americans and allies from Afghanistan as the U.S. struggles with obstacles ranging from armed Taliban checkpoints to paperwork problems.

While Biden has previously blamed Afghans for the U.S. failure to get out more allies ahead of this month’s sudden Taliban takeover, U.S. officials told The Associated Press that American diplomats had formally urged weeks ago that the Biden administration ramp up evacuation efforts.

Tens of thousands of people remain to be evacuated ahead of the United States’ Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw its troops from the country, although the pace picked up overnight. A defense official said about 5,700 people, including about 250 Americans, were flown out of Kabul aboard 16 C-17 transport planes. On each of the previous two days, about 2,000 people were airlifted.

 

dimsum

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Would anyone be saying that CANSOF operators on the ground are being cowardly, because we don’t see them in Toronto Sun articles openly racing around the town patting themselves on the back with how awesome they are collecting Canadians and Afghans who helped Canada?
I was going to say that. The latest article specifically says that the Canadians are involved in the transport, but other nations (I'm guessing UK and FRA SOF) are getting those people to the airport.

Also, just because they aren't publicizing it doesn't mean US SOF (and other agencies/countries) aren't doing it. Hell, remember how the news about JTF-2 in Afghanistan first came up almost 20 years ago? It certainly wasn't the MND at the time telling everyone that they were in country.
 

PuckChaser

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Would anyone be saying that CANSOF operators on the ground are being cowardly, because we don’t see them in Toronto Sun articles openly racing around the town patting themselves on the back with how awesome they are collecting Canadians and Afghans who helped Canada?
Maybe I'm a pessimist, but I don't think CANSOF has the flexibility the government is saying they do. It'd be a huge PR win to have a couple photos of SOF picking people up outside the airport, a PR win the LPC desperately needs, but risk aversion foreign policy we've had since 2015 is overruling the benefits of that PR win.
 

CBH99

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Maybe I'm a pessimist, but I don't think CANSOF has the flexibility the government is saying they do. It'd be a huge PR win to have a couple photos of SOF picking people up outside the airport, a PR win the LPC desperately needs, but risk aversion foreign policy we've had since 2015 is overruling the benefits of that PR win.
This is one of those things that could easily be 50/50, and go either way.

While I don't expect any of our political leaders to be the most PR savvy, and I don't expect any of them to buckle down, put their game face on, and do what needs to be done - it is now election season, which means they all have to look as good as possible for a while to get those votes!


- On the one hand, you could very easily be correct. Deploying CANSOF for the sake of appearing to be doing something, and the CANSOF guys on the ground being constrained by a limited mandate and ROE.

- On the other hand, CANSOF - especially JTF-2 - has enjoyed a pretty long leash, a government (regardless of ruling party) that is very strict about not releasing any information on what they are doing, and traditionally gives them the freedom to accomplish their missions in whatever manner they see fit. The more freedom our guys have, the more successful they can be - let the professionals do what they excel at doing.



Photos or videos of Canadian SOF rescuing desperate civilians from an impending genocide, is something JT could take credit for. And that would be a huge boost during an election.

Alternatively, news that desperate civilians were raped and/or murdered by the Taliban when CANSOF was right there and could have helped, but weren't allowed to because JT forced his timidness or woke nonsense into a high-stakes military operation, would be the worst PR hit he could take during an election. (I would say it would be the worst PR hit he could ever take, but somehow he is still here despite already taking far worse PR hits.)

None of this should be about PR or votes for one individual candidate during an election. Any good PR that comes out of their operations should go exclusively to them, and to boost national morale. (But, politics is politics.)




I'm with Dimsum on this one. CANSOF is notoriously quiet and secretive about their operations, and yet consistently impress the SOF community, the country, and military enthusiasts alike with their accomplishments. I fully believe CANSOF is very much continuing to do so right now.

- Prior to the photo leaking of JTF-2 operators walking out the rear ramp of a helo with some high value detainees, most Canadians had never heard of them.

- Prior to a JTF-2 sniper reclaiming the record for world's longest sniper kill in northern Iraq against ISIS fighters, most Canadians didn't really know we had SOF operating in that region against ISIS.

- They were instrumental in the Christian Peacemaker hostage crisis, which most people still have never heard of (and I don't know anything other than the basic details.)

- They were deployed as part of Task Force K-Bar, the coalition special operations branch in the early days of the war on terror in Afghanistan. Most Canadians had never heard of them before, and did not know we had such a team or capability. JTF-2 became the American commander's first choice when he needed an important operation conducted.



Their list of accomplishments is long and impressive, and sadly celebrated more by foreign governments than our own. But having civilians killed, when CANSOF was present and could have helped but wasn't allowed to, would be a nightmare for JT during election time. He isn't the brightest of bulbs, but hopefully bright enough to let them do their thing. 🙏
 

dimsum

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JTF-2 became the American commander's first choice when he needed an important operation conducted.
I've heard of that anecdote before, but have never seen the source. Where is that from?
 

CBH99

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I've heard of that anecdote before, but have never seen the source. Where is that from?
I can’t copy and paste the sources specifically right now, as I am using my phone. I will edit some links in later today though.

There is a mention of it on their wiki page, but I first read about it while reading a paperback. I believe it was either General Rick Hillier’s book “A Soldier First”, or another book titled “The Taliban Don’t Wave.”

Now that I think about it, I believe it was the latter.

As far as I can recall, when that first infamous picture was shown in national newspapers and the Canadian public was wide eyed and perplexed, I believe it was also released then it was a secretive Canadian special forces unit that were operating under an American led special operations coalition at the time.
 

Good2Golf

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Not that it had to be, the effects were happening, but proof that political posturing/parts-measuring can’t be helped by many…
 

The Bread Guy

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<slight derail>
... They were instrumental in the Christian Peacemaker hostage crisis, which most people still have never heard of (and I don't know anything other than the basic details.) ...
Fair bit of detail/comment from an old thread here on that.
</slight derail>
 

dapaterson

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There are three types of CANSOF Ops:

1. Those which happened which everyone knows about;

2. Those which never happened which everyone knows about despite their non existence; and

3. Those which happened which nobody knows about.

There are lots of type 3, lots of type 2, and very few type 1.
 

CBH99

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I was in CANSOF at that time. The less said about previous and current ops, the better.
SeenSolid call, no attempt at otherwise.

I think what we were all getting at & thinking out loud (which is a solid reminder not to, given current circumstances) - was that CANSOF has always shown up as some of the utmost professional and capable organizations regardless of what’s happening. No reason to wonder if that will be the case now — election around the corner be damned.


Moving on to more public aspects of what’s happening…423 people in one of our birds is pretty impressive!
 

Weinie

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SeenSolid call, no attempt at otherwise.

I think what we were all getting at & thinking out loud (which is a solid reminder not to, given current circumstances) - was that CANSOF has always shown up as some of the utmost professional and capable organizations regardless of what’s happening. No reason to wonder if that will be the case now — election around the corner be damned.


Moving on to more public aspects of what’s happening…423 people in one of our birds is pretty impressive!
Yes. About frigging time
There are three types of CANSOF Ops:

1. Those which happened which everyone knows about;

2. Those which never happened which everyone knows about despite their non existence; and

3. Those which happened which nobody knows about.

There are lots of type 3, lots of type 2, and very few type 1.
There is a fourth type: those that are attributed falsely to CANSOF because of attributor gain. There are several examples of that.
 
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