Speaker Topic

Seeds of a Fiasco – NEO in Afghanistan

Many of us watched chaos while the U.S. tried to evacuate American citizens as well as those who helped the United States and its Allies during our 20-year presence in Afghanistan. From news reports, the evacuation, known in military circles as a Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation or NEO, didn’t go as planned. NEOs are a U.S. military core competency. Since 1991, we’ve executed over 20 that extracted as few as 90 U.S. citizens to one that evacuated 20,000+ without any problems. Some of these NEOs were in hostile environments. Yes, this one was bigger and had its own unique set of challenges. However, the Departments of State and Defense knew this operation would have to be performed for over a year and therefore, had plenty of time to develop a plan to get those we wanted to evacuate out with little or no drama. So what happened? In this presentation, Marc starts with the U.S. Joint Publication 3-68 which provides a template on how to plan and execute a NEO. He then compares info from open sources to the planning guidelines to help the audience understand what went probably wrong and why.

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