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Private Rescue Missions in Afghanistan

After the U.S. government gave up, many private individuals and organizations stepped in to rescue those left behind.

By:  |  September 5, 2021  |    820 Words
GettyImages-1335945090 Afghani resuces

(Photo By A. Perez Meca/Europa Press via Getty Images)

United States Armed Forces have left Afghanistan – a country where the U.S. was at war for 20 years. After a messy evacuation, it’s possible that hundreds of Americans were left behind, as well as many Afghan locals who helped the U.S. during the war.

Now that the Taliban extremist group has taken over the country, many are in danger. Biden stated that the U.S. government would keep working to help people who want to leave – but some individuals took it upon themselves to conduct their own rescue efforts.

Danger in Afghanistan

President Joe Biden gave a speech saying that most of the people who stayed behind had chosen to stay. On the other hand, some journalists are reporting that people are stuck and unable to leave.

“I just spoke by phone with an Afghan who worked on a US base in Afghanistan for 17 YEARS. Speaks perfect English. Has all his papers. But he was left behind. He’s in hiding. He’s lost everything. He loves Americans.” Journalist Emily Miller posted this Twitter text just before Biden pulled out all U.S. forces from the country.

Other reports are coming out that people have had to go into hiding – such as students who attended American university, the country’s female cricket team, and others who go against the Taliban.

The Pineapple Express

The U.S. Armed Forces have always behaved according to the creed “leave no man behind.” Normally this applies to recovering wounded or killed military members, but it carries another meaning in the hearts of those who have honorably served America. Elite soldiers have been working privately to save not just brothers in arms, but Afghans who supported the U.S. In secret night-time missions, an all-volunteer unit known as the Pineapple Express got more than 700 Afghans to safety.

Operation Recovery has diligently worked to extract those desperate to come to America. Its website reads, “The members of Task Force Pineapple will continue to work in the shadows, so we may be the light to those still in the darkness. We will never stop, ‘Honoring the Promise!’ De Oppresso Liber!”

Army Lieutenant Colonel Scott Mann, a retired Green Beret commander, said his unit worked unofficially with the U.S. military and retired CIA agents. Mann explained the situation to Business Insider: “Dozens of high-risk individuals, families with small children, orphans, and pregnant women, were secretly moved through the streets of Kabul throughout the night.”

According to former Green Beret Zac Lois, the operation is based on methods used by the historic Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad network.

The Nazarene Fund

Another group that has been working to rescue people in Afghanistan is the Nazarene Fund, a Christian charity led by founder Tim Ballard and radio host Glenn Beck. Its focus is to help Christians get out of the war-torn nation. Since the Taliban is a radical Islamic group that enforces Sharia law, Christians will likely be persecuted under their rule.

The organization’s mission is:

“To liberate the captive, to free the enslaved, and to rescue, rebuild and restore the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious and ethnic minorities wherever and whenever they are in need.”

Congressman Markwayne Mullin

Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin joined the rescue efforts, going against the advice of U.S. officials. He flew to the Middle East on August 31, arriving in Tajikistan, a country that neighbors Afghanistan. He asked the U.S. ambassador there to help with a mission to rescue five Americans.

GettyImages-1231652136 Markwayne Mullin

Markwayne Mullin
(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The ambassador didn’t agree with Mullin’s plans and refused to cooperate. They had an argument. Officials said Mullin “has gone to extraordinary lengths to defy U.S. warnings.”

There were worries that Mullin had gone missing due to the dangerous mission, but he turned out to be safe. The congressman reported on Instagram that he stood by his decision:

“I am heading home…
Have we been helping get Americans out of Afghanistan, yes. Is the mission continuing, yes. Am I missing, no. Did I go dark for a little, yes because it wasn’t safe to be communicating. Am I extremely disappointed in how we (United States) left Americans behind… that would be an understatement.”

Other members of Congress have been told not to go to Afghanistan, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) saying “This is deadly serious. We do not want members to go … We put an end to any thought that anybody was going there right away.”

Afghanistan under the Taliban is a dangerous place for Americans and people who helped America. The U.S. government evacuated 6,000 U.S. citizens and around 122,000 people in total – and private rescue efforts have worked to save even more people who might have been left behind.

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