.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressing concerns over the White House’s lack of plans to safely evacuate American citizens from Ukraine. This letter comes after President Joe Biden’s failed Afghanistan withdrawal left 13 U.S. servicemembers dead and hundreds of Americans stranded.

Biden’s Flawed Decision Making in Afghanistan Resulted In Americans Being Murdered

“Given the disorderly and chaotic evacuation of U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and Afghan allies amid the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal in 2021—an evacuation mission that remains incomplete—Congress is willing and ready to conduct proper oversight responsibilities on behalf of the American people.”

At Least 23,000 Americans Live In Ukraine And The Biden Admin Stated They Will Not Save Americans Stranded 

“National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan urged all Americans in Ukraine to leave, emphasizing that they should not expect the U.S. military to rescue them in the event that air and rail transportation is severed during a Russian invasion.” 

View the full letter here or below.

Dear Secretary Austin and Secretary Blinken:

We write to express our grave concern regarding the safety and evacuation of Americans in Ukraine.  Given the disorderly and chaotic evacuation of U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and Afghan allies amid the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal in 2021—an evacuation mission that remains incomplete—Congress is willing and ready to conduct proper oversight responsibilities on behalf of the American people.

On February 18, 2022, President Biden said that he is “convinced” that Vladimir Putin made the decision to invade Ukraine.  On January 24, the Department of State authorized the departure of U.S. government employees and ordered the departure of family members of U.S. government employees at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.  In addition, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan urged all Americans in Ukraine to leave, emphasizing that they should not expect the U.S. military to rescue them in the event that air and rail transportation is severed during a Russian invasion.  We therefore ask that you respond to the following questions immediately:

(1)   On February 9, 2022, a White House official said, “To be clear, we are not planning for a mass evacuation of American citizens from Ukraine.”  What are the Biden Administration’s plans to evacuate U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents if they remain in parts of Ukraine occupied by the Russian military?

(2)   The State Department currently reports as many as 23,000 Americans reside in Ukraine.  To the Department’s knowledge, how many U.S. citizens have been safely evacuated from Ukraine?

(3)   What is the U.S. government’s plan to protect U.S. citizens and facilitate the evacuation of American citizens from Ukraine during a Russian invasion?

We welcome an open dialogue, including ongoing regular principal-level classified and unclassified briefings to Senators, with the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and other relevant agencies on these matters. In the near-term, we look forward to a detailed response that addresses each of the above questions.  Thank you for your attention.

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