State Dept. Orders Evacuations, Tells U.S. Citizens to 'Plan Accordingly' as Next Foreign Policy Failure Looms

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Posted: Jan 23, 2022 7:30 PM
State Dept. Orders Evacuations, Tells U.S. Citizens to 'Plan Accordingly' as Next Foreign Policy Failure Looms

Source: AP Photo/Andriy Dubchak

Update:

Shortly after the publication of this piece, Jennifer Griffin, the national security correspondent for Fox News, tweeted that American citizens in Ukraine could very well be on their own and without help from the U.S. government. 

"The US government will not be in a position to evacuate US citizens. So US citizens, currently present in Ukraine should plan according," Griffin's tweet in part mentioned, citing a call from the State Department.

The situation is increasingly looking like it could become another Afghanistan with disastrous consequences due to a lack of proper action from the U.S. government. 

Original:

After a weekend of reports indicating that nonessential staff at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine had asked the State Department to authorize their leave among looming threats of a Russian invasion, the order from the department was issued on Sunday. The family members of staff are being told to leave as well. There are also travel advisories in place telling people to not travel to Ukraine, citing the Wuhan coronavirus but also the threats of a Russian invasion. 

Cristina Maza of The National Journal shared a travel advisory from the State Department, which "authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. direct hire employees and ordered the departure of eligible family members from Embassy Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action. U.S. citizens in Ukraine should consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options."

"There are reports Russia is planning significant military action against Ukraine. The security conditions, particularly along Ukraine's borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv," the advisory continued.

Even before the travel advisory was issued, people had been comparing the situation in Ukraine to the foreign policy fallout resulting from the disastrous withdrawal of Afghanistan last August. 

Certainly not helping the situation was President Joe Biden's comments last Wednesday during a press conference when pressed on taking action against Russia when it comes to Ukraine. "And so, I think what you’re going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades.  And it depends on what it does.  It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera," he had said

Just earlier that day, Secretary of State Antony Blinken made multiple appearances on the Sunday shows, including NBC's "Meet the Press," where he was rather tight-lipped when asked about such evacuations. He was similarly not too comforting about pushing back against Biden's comments from the press conference to do with that "minor incursion."

During his many appearances, Blinken continued to emphasize "diplomacy and dialogue" with Russia, though he assured there would be a "swift response" if needed.