In a jarring statement issued this weekend, Joe Biden’s State Department has announced it will not be able to perform the basic functions of evacuating U.S. citizens from the increasingly war-torn country of Ethiopia in Africa. The news will bring recent memories of Americans stranded in Afghanistan back to the minds of the American public.
Months before the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden State Department cancelled Trump-era plans to have a Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau, with critics alleging both publicly and privately that the cancellation was simply a partisan effort to stop any Trump-era plans from the beginning of the Biden government.
That behavior cost lives in Afghanistan, and may do so again in Ethiopia, and rebel forces begin moving on the capital Addis Ababa.
As of Saturday morning, official State Department guidance said:
The Department of State urges U.S citizens in Ethiopia to depart now using commercially available options. The U.S. Embassy is unlikely to be able to assist U.S. citizens in Ethiopia with departure if commercial options become unavailable. Although seats on commercial flights currently remain available, we cannot predict when demand will exceed capacity.
Politico reported early Saturday that is has, in fact, been Biden’s lackluster approach to solving the conflict in Ethiopia that created another impending foreign policy mess.
In an article entitled “Biden’s diplomacy push meets its match as Ethiopia unravels,” the left-wing news site admits:
Visa bans. Trade restrictions. Threats of economic sanctions. And visit after visit from top emissaries, including a U.S. senator bearing a message from President Joe Biden.
For a year, U.S. officials have used these and other instruments in their diplomacy toolbox to persuade, push and pressure Ethiopia’s government and rebel forces to end a vicious civil war believed to have killed thousands of people, left hundreds of thousands starving and displaced millions.
But nothing is working. And things are getting worse.
Biden even dispatched one of his closest friends, Senator Chris Coons, with a personal letter from Biden urging an end to the conflict. None of the sides involved seemed interested in a letter from the embattled U.S. President.
Ethiopia is one of Africa’s most populous nations and a country which the United States has maintained close diplomatic and trade links with for decades.
Around half a billion dollars in tax payer cash has been ploughed into Ethiopia every year over the past decade in direct assistance alone. You can read more about the background of the war rocking Ethiopia here.
Speaking to The National Pulse in August, President Donald J. Trump said of Biden’s plans to cancel the Contingency and Crisis Bureau designed with evacuating Americans from war-torn nations:
“My Administration prioritized keeping Americans safe, Biden leaves them behind. Canceling this successful Trump Administration program before the withdrawal that would have helped tens of thousands Americans reach home is beyond disgraceful. Our withdrawal was conditions-based and perfect, it would have been flawlessly executed and nobody would have even known we left. The Biden execution and withdrawal is perhaps the greatest embarrassment to our Country in History, both as a military and humanitarian operation.”
There remain an unknown number of U.S. citizens stranded in Afghanistan, to this day.
This story is developing and may be updated.