The US Embassy in Kabul issued a Security Message announcing its suspension of operations:
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul suspended operations on August 31, 2021. While the U.S. government has withdrawn its personnel from Kabul, we will continue to assist U.S. citizens and their families in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar.
After 20 years, one ‘forever’ war finally ended and one of the largest US embassies in the world just closed its doors.
We are assuming that the US Embassy Kabul will now transition to the Afghanistan Affairs Unit (AAU) operating out of the US Embassy Doha in Qatar. This is a guess given the precedence with four other remote units after the suspension of diplomatic operations in Yemen, Venezuela, Libya, and much earlier, Somalia.
— Yemen Affairs Unit (Remote Mission Site: U.S. Embassy Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
— Venezuela Affairs Unit (Remote Mission Site: U.S. Embassy Bogota, Colombia)
— Libya External Office (Remote Mission Site: U.S. Embassy Tunis, Tunisia))
U.S. Embassy Mogadishu, Somalia (Remote Mission Site: U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Kenya) – the Department officially established Embassy Mogadishu as a permanent post in 2019. The IG says that although the Somalia Unit no longer exists as a remote mission, some staff continue to be based at Embassy Nairobi, and Embassy Mogadishu continues to rely on Embassy Nairobi for support services.
According to the IG audit, the VAU has been open for almost 2 years; the YAU has been open for more than 6 years; and the Libya External Office has been open for almost 7 years. The Somalia Unit operated from U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Kenya, for more than 9 years before the Department reestablished a permanent diplomatic presence in Somalia.
The most recent OIG report we could locate for Qatar is dated 2010. At that time, the OIG describes Embassy Doha as a mid-size embassy, with a staff of 82 U.S. direct-hire personnel, 113 foreign national staff, and 11 locally hired American personnel. No Qatari citizens are employed by the mission. Operations under chief of mission authority include representatives from the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Foreign Commercial Service. Operating budgets for U.S. Government agencies under chief of mission authority total approximately $13.7 million. Post is likely supersized already. We just don’t know by how many. Would be interested to see what the staffing pattern is going to be like for the AAU in Doha.
As of today, we have suspended our diplomatic presence in Kabul and transferred our operations to Doha, Qatar. For the time being, we will use this post in Doha to manage our diplomacy with Afghanistan.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) August 31, 2021
New: US will suspend all diplomatic presence in Kabul, will open new diplomatic office for Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar. It will be led by Ian McCary, the (former) deputy chief of mission to the US embassy in Kabul, Blinken says.
— Robbie Gramer (@RobbieGramer) August 30, 2021
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) August 30, 2021
As part of an ongoing, three-year legal battle, The Post has obtained notes, transcripts and audio recordings from more than 400 government interviews and compiled them into a comprehensive database.
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 9, 2019
From way, way back in 2015:
— Diplopundit (@Diplopundit) May 26, 2015
- Afghanistan Papers: A secret history of the war #hardreading 2019
- @StateDept’s “New Camp Sullivan” in Afghanistan Four Years On: A Lovely $103.2 Million Flat Dirt 2019
- @StateDept Cuts $100M Aid to Afghanistan Over “Govt Corruption and Financial Mismanagement” 2019
- @StateDept Corrections Over Tillerson’s Afghanistan Remarks Get an Easy “F” 2017
- USAID Reconstruction Contracts in Afghanistan and Iraq Bites Former Louis Berger Executives 2016
- US Mission Afghanistan Contractor Survives Taliban Car Bomb, Takes Photo, Quits Job, Goes on Reddit 2016
- Snapshot: State/INL’s Counternarcotics Program Afghanistan — $220 Million With Unclear Results 2015
- US Mission Afghanistan: Insider Attack During Senior U.S. Official’s Visit Kills One, Wounds Several Others 2015
- We Meant Well, Afghanistan Edition: Ghost Students, Ghost Teachers, Ghost Schools, Ugh! 2015
- DOD Builds the World’s Most Expensive Gas Station in Afghanistan For $43M, Oh, Joy! 2015
- Tweet of the Day: The Truth Behind The Afghanistan ‘Success Story’ 2015
- Burn Bag: Afghanistan — Is it better to be humbled than ruined? 2015
- Urgent Afghanistan Message: Need $537 Million, Send Money At Once … or This Week 2014
- Media Operations Centers in Afghanistan: $7.2Million Build/Suspend and Demolish Projects
- Iraq Got BLISS, Now US Mission Afghanistan Gets ALiSS or Afghanistan Life Support Services 2014