Source: AUN News
That evening or early the following morning, most of the diplomatic workers fled Afghanistan. However, Mr. Wilson and about 30 other American diplomats remained there for an additional two weeks to locate and evacuate other American citizens, legal permanent residents, and allies abroad among the tens of thousands of terrified Afghans pleading for help outside the airport.
They must decide whether to say, “Yes, you can come in” or “No, sir, you can’t.” Mr. Wilson recounted the diplomats’ 12-hour shifts working at the airport gate amid gunshots, explosions, and the unceasing noise of the crowd. And, well, that’s hugely challenging.
He claimed that nobody who wasn’t there could quite comprehend how horrific it was.
Mr. Wilson was one of the final four ambassadors to leave Kabul, flying out on the last military aircraft from the United States just before midnight on August 30. He was brought to an army hospital in Doha, Qatar, where he underwent testing and was diagnosed with coronavirus. Few people wore masks during the long, terrible days at the Kabul airport, but Mr. Wilson had thought that his tiredness and other symptoms came from working 20-hour days for five weeks.
Part of a strategy
At the end of September, he flew to his house outside Minneapolis to get away from everyone and legally quit his job. That strategy portion had long been in place: Mr. Wilson, a diplomat for 30 years, had left the Foreign Service in 2008. But before he was unexpectedly asked to serve as the chargé d’affaires in January 2020 while the Trump administration and Congress argued over who to send as a permanent ambassador, he had never served in Afghanistan.
Mr. Wilson remarked, “I thought they should be asking other people who had worked there.” However, when questioned, “It was my job to do it,”
Many of the American diplomats who were with him during his final weeks in Kabul, whom he claimed were still shaken, are still in contact with Mr. Wilson over a year later. In some cases, the horrific recollections have obscured the mission’s success in evacuating more than 124,000 civilians from Afghanistan.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified network