World After the US military evacuations stopped, this group got an 80-year-old grandmother out of Afghanistan
Afghanistan women's junior football team granted UK visas
Afghanistan's women's junior football team and their immediate families will be relocated to Britain from Pakistan "shortly" after being granted visas by the UK government. © Horacio Villalobos/Corbis News/Getty Images Afghanistan women's team captain Farkhunda Muhtaj embraces with members of the Afghanistan Youth Women's National Team in Lisbon, Portugal in September. "We are working to finalise visas to the Afghan Women's Development Team and look forward to welcoming them to the UK shortly," a UK government spokesperson told CNN.
The U.S. military stopped evacuating vulnerable people out ofat the end of August, but volunteer groups have continued to see who they can save.
Task Force Argo featurespersonnel, active duty service members and veterans, special operators and intelligence analysts, coming together with one goal in mind: “To bring home from Afghanistan every U.S. citizen and legal permanent resident, the immediate and extended family members of U.S. citizens and LPRs, and our Afghan allies and partners.”
The group, which has facilitated the evacuation of approximately 1,800 people since the end of August, says they “will not rest” until they get everyone out.
Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Nation mourns Colin Powell
It's Monday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Former Secretary of State Colin Powell's unexpected death was greeted by an outpouring of grief from across the political spectrum, as Democrats and Republicans alike lauded the four-star general as a giant of public service and an African- American hero.We'll share the reactions from across the nation and globe, how the White House has responded, and Powell's long and distinguished legacy.For The Hill, I'm Ellen Mitchell.
The organization has a series of safe houses within Afghanistan that they use to hide vulnerable people trying to escape, but the potential evacuees need proper documentation, which is checked at multiple stages during their evacuation, and they need someone who can vouch for them, former JSOC Ground Force Commander Jesse Jensen, a member of Task Force Argo, told the Washington Examiner in an interview.
They then shepherd the individuals onto buses, where their identities are checked again, before going to an airport, before eventually flying to a friendly neighboring country.
“Through personal relationships, we negotiated safe passage and safe harbor for these folks in a host nation,” he said.
Russia hosts Afghan talks, calls for inclusive government
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia hosted talks on Afghanistan on Wednesday involving senior representatives of the Taliban and other factions, a round of diplomacy that underlines Moscow's clout. Opening the talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized that “forming a really inclusive government fully reflecting the interests of not only all ethnic groups but all political forces of the country” is necessary to achieve a stable peace in Afghanistan.Russia had worked for years to establish contacts with the Taliban, even though it has designated the group a terrorist organization in 2003 and never took it of the list.
The group, which doesn’t have “more than two people in any one single location,” has “coordinated everything digitally across secure encrypted chat rooms with no real command and control structure other than a group of volunteers that have come together to rescue folks in need,” Jensen added.
The evacuees they’ve rescued include an 80-year-old grandmother and a newborn who was only 3 days old at the time she got on an aircraft out of Afghanistan.
The group of about 150 volunteers still has 4,000 people on their backfill manifest, and they’re hoping the State Department will step in and take the lead, because, as Jensen noted, their efforts are “not sustainable.”
“We look forward to the state department telling us exactly what the pipeline and the plan is for American citizens, green card holders, andfolks in Afghanistan, because we still don't know,” he added. “We also look forward to them negotiating lily-pad countries for these folks to stay while they get screened and background checks are completed before they can come to the United States.”
"Nobody cares about my family": US troops struggle to get their families out of Afghanistan
An hour after a suicide bomb exploded outside the Kabul airport on August 26, killing 13 US service members and scores of Afghan civilians, Fahim Masoud, a US military intelligence officer, made a frantic call to his sister. © CNN Fahim Masoud spent weeks trying to get his family out of Afhganistan amid the chaotic US withdrawal. She, along with Masoud's parents and two other siblings, were in a CIA-organized bus navigating the crushing crowds and constant gunfire around the airport, desperately trying to escape Afghanistan.
Jensen also described the end of theas an "unmitigated disaster" and said it was an "absolute failure" that is "not up for debate."
Some of thevolunteers are also a part of the Special Operations Association of America, a group that predates the fall of Kabul, though one that has diverted much of their attention to getting people out of Afghanistan since then.
has been quietly helping people get out of Afghanistan for months, long before the and the took over, though the number of requests “started to exponentially climb” in August, according to founder and Green Beret Daniel Elkins.
He noted in an interview with the Washington Examiner that “there’s been a decent amount of negativity associated with this entire situation,” but “that’s the wrong attitude to take,” because “I’m hopefully optimistic and believe that now more than ever, we need to remain steadfast and hopeful and continue the effort over the next few weeks to ensure the safe evacuation of as many of our allies as we can.”
Many of Afghanistan's journalists have fled. Those who remain face a harsh new world
The Taliban has issued edicts that are likely to smother what few independent media outlets survived the collapse of the U.S.-backed government.He woke up early and gathered his family’s luggage. He kept his farewells with his parents short. “I couldn’t see my father cry,” he said. He told his mother he wouldn’t go if she didn’t stop sobbing.
He also said their group consists of hundreds of people who are putting in their own resources to save Afghan allies and “that’s kind of the spirit of which we were united with Task Force Argo.”
To raise money for their effort, the volunteers at Task Force Argo and SOAA have teamed up with Nine Line Apparel, who are selling, the proceeds of which are going to the group’s efforts to get people out of Afghanistan.
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Afghan families are selling their children so they can eat as the economy crumbles .
Parwana Malik, a 9-year-old girl with dark eyes and rosy cheeks, giggles with her friends as they play jump rope in a dusty clearing. © Hoshang Hashimi/AFP/Getty Images Men sitting at a camp for internally displaecd people in Qala-i-Naw, Badghis province, on October 17. But Parwana's laughter disappears as she returns home, a small hut with dirt walls, where she's reminded of her fate: she's being sold to a stranger as a child bride.The man who wants to buy Parwana says he's 55, but to her, he's "an old man" with white eyebrows and a thick white beard, she told CNN on October 22.