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Haiti Descends Into Anarchy Proving Biden Can't Protect Us

scene of calamity in island nation

Haiti: the UN children's agency chief offered a dire assessment March 17, 2024 of the chaotic situation in Haiti, saying it was "almost like a scene out of 'Mad Max,'" which depicts a violent and lawless post-apocalyptic future. (Clarens Siffroy/AFP via Getty Images)

Scot Faulkner By Thursday, 21 March 2024 11:47 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Once again, the Biden administration is proving incapable of protecting Americans.

As Haiti descends into violent anarchy, Biden’s State Department is telling Americans they are on their own. State Department spokespersons keep saying they are "exploring options" for bringing Americans to safety.

This is a replay of Afghanistan, where the U.S. abandoned Central Asia’s largest and most fortified military base while the embassy shuttered, leaving thousands to fight their way through mobs to the civilian airport. Thousands more were left behind or unaccounted.

This is a potentially tragic abdication of a fundamental responsibility.

The State Department’s website is filled with extensive guidance on how Americans will be evacuated during emergencies as "conditions in a country degrade."

This is a well-established moral and legal mandate.

Diplomatic and military personnel have extensive experience evacuating Americans, including just a year ago from Haiti ( in July of 2023).

One of the largest evacuations, 15,000 U.S. citizens, took place in Lebanon during July 2006. A year later, the General Accountability Office (GAO) provided a detailed narrative and assessment of how things are supposed to work.

A key element in saving American lives was the requirement of the U.S. Embassy to develop and maintain an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for evacuating U.S. citizens.

The EAP is required of every U.S. Embassy in the world.

I participated in the development and management of the EAP during my tenure as Director of the U.S. Peace Corps in Malawi, Africa during the mid-1980s.

The EAP was designed to evacuate all identified U.S. citizens within 48 hours of a crisis in the host country. In my case, this included the 75 Peace Corps Volunteers who were posted throughout Malawi.

I was required to maintain an up-to-date accounting of volunteer locations to the Embassy monthly. Contingency planning for communicating an impending crisis, notifying every volunteer of initiating the EAP, and accounting for all volunteers being safely evacuated was a critical part of my responsibility as Peace Corps Director.

Overlaying my program was the American Embassy’s EAP process.

Every month, the Embassy Team, which included top staff reporting to the Ambassador and heads of each U.S. Agency in the country (such as the Agency for International Development – USAID), were required to update the list of evacuees.

Quarterly, the Embassy Team met in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) to validate the EAP.

At these meetings, we also assessed the current situation relating to Malawi and the region.

This was important because southern Malawi was surrounded by Mozambique, which was in a civil war.

The warring factions would regularly traverse southern Malawi as a short cut and forage for food. Volunteers in the south encountered combatants, and in one case had mortar rounds explode near them.

Meetings with Mozambique and South African officials helped prevent similar incidents.

The Embassy maintained a master list of U.S. citizens working for Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs), including missionaries.

The Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) and Chief Counselor Officer were responsible for managing an accurate list and conducting EAP outreach.

To further enhance in-country tracking, every U.S. Embassy began maintaining lists of all American registered under the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), established in 2011.

Americans travelling to a foreign country may register to receive alerts (including EAP initiation) and be part of the accounting of evacuees should the need arise. 

During the 1980s, every Wednesday morning, the Malawi Embassy Team tested emergency communications with a wake-up call from the Embassy’s Defense Communications Office to each home. Peace Corps Volunteers were informed about the EAP and crisis communications through ongoing site visits to their project sites.

As Chair of the Malawi Volunteer Council, I conducted quarterly meetings with leaders from the counterpart programs of Canada, Japan, Sweden, and the UK to share “best practices” on volunteer operations, including respective EAPs and emergency communications.

Thankfully, the Malawi EAP was never activated. Had such a situation arose, the thoroughness of all involved and their dedication to citizen safety would have prevailed.

The failure in evacuating Afghanistan, and now the callous disregard in Haiti, sadly displays a deterioration of the professionalism that once was the pride of America’s diplomatic operations.

Scot Faulkner is the best-selling author of "Naked Emperors: The Failure of the Republican Revolution." He also served as the first chief administrative officer of the U.S. House, and was director of personnel for the Reagan campaign and went on to serve in the presidential transition team and on the White House staff. During the Reagan administration, he held executive positions at the FAA, the GSA, and the Peace Corps. Read Scot Faulker's reports — More Here.

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The failure in evacuating Afghanistan, and now the callous disregard in Haiti, sadly displays a deterioration of the professionalism that once was the pride of America’s diplomatic operations.
afghanistan, eap, gao
Thursday, 21 March 2024 11:47 AM
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