The Biden State Department moved in June to cancel a program overseeing the protection and evacuation of American citizens stationed overseas in the case of an emergency, just as the Taliban was taking over Afghanistan, according to an internal State Department memo obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and multiple sources familiar with the matter.
The Biden State Department moved to dissolve the Trump-era crisis response program, according to an internal State Department memo and sources familiar with the matter. That memo, which was marked sensitive but unclassified and was signed by Deputy Secretary Brian McKeon, approved the “discontinuation of the establishment, and termination of, the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR),” a new State Department entity created during the Trump administration to coordinate emergency response services overseas.
The CCR bureau was established late last year by then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo. In a notification sent to Congress in October and also obtained by the Free Beacon, the Trump administration said the new bureau would provide “aviation, logistics, and medical support capabilities for the Department’s operational bureaus, thereby enhancing the secretary’s ability to protect American citizens overseas in connection with overseas evacuations in the aftermath of a natural or man-made disaster.”
The decision to dissolve the CCR was handed down just months before the Taliban overtook the Afghan capital of Kabul, leaving the Biden administration scrambling to evacuate more than 15,000 Americans still trapped in the country. It is unclear if the Biden State Department has an alternative plan or a similar bureau that could coordinate emergency services alongside other government agencies, according to sources familiar with the situation.