US, UK Sending Troops to Afghanistan to Help with Evacuation

The United States and the United Kingdom are deploying troops to Afghanistan to help evacuate their diplomats, soldiers, and the Afghans who have worked with them.

U.S. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby announced on Aug. 12 that the U.S. would send roughly 8,000 service members to assist with the evacuation efforts and to ensure the safety of American embassy personnel amid the increasing violence in Afghanistan.

According to Kirby, the U.S. will send about 3,000 soldiers to the international airport in Kabul within the next three days and an additional 1,000 personnel to Qatar to help with the processing of special immigrant visa applicants.

The U.S. will also deploy an infantry brigade combat team to Kuwait within the next week as a quick reaction force for security in Kabul if necessary.

“We believe that this is the prudent thing to do given the rapidly deteriorating security situation in and around Kabul,” Kirby said, adding that efforts are focused on completing the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan by the end of the month.

U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also announced on Aug. 12 that the U.K. will send about 600 troops over the coming days to assist in the evacuation of British nationals amid the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.

The U.K. government said in a statement that its embassy in Kabul is focusing its efforts on consular assistance and accelerating work to provide visas for its former staff in Afghanistan.

“The security of British nationals, British military personnel,  and former Afghan staff is our first priority. We must do everything we can to ensure their safety,” Wallace said.

The U.K. also said that Sir Laurie Bristow, the UK’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, will continue to lead a small team in Afghanistan in a more secure location.

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