A group of American veterans, military contractors, aid workers and former spies are scrambling to get as many people out of Afghanistan;
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Even as tens of thousands of Afghans who helped the U.S. and a large number of American and other foreign citizens remain stranded.
- Erik Prince, the American defense contractor, said he is offering people seats on a chartered plane out of Kabul for $6,500 per person. U.S. and NATO forces are sending special rescue teams into Taliban-controlled areas of the city to spirit their citizens into the airport. And countless Afghans who thought the U.S. would protect them after having assisted the U.S.-led coalition forces in the past two decades are now realizing that they will most likely be left behind to face Taliban wrath alone.
- Aid organizations have been told by Western governments that evacuation flights won’t continue past Friday, as the U.S. military will need the days remaining until the Aug. 31 deadline to remove its own equipment and troops from Kabul.
- Private rescue efforts are facing growing obstacles this week, just as the urgency grows. Chartered planes are flying out of Kabul with hundreds of empty seats. New Taliban checkpoints on the road to Pakistan have made driving out of the country increasingly risky. Confusing bureaucratic hurdles have prevented countless people from leaving Afghanistan.