Friday’s order by the US Embassy in Kabul to staff was to dispose of sensitive material that could be used in Taliban propaganda, as insurgents advanced rapidly in Afghanistan.
A facility manager at the sprawling Embassy directed staff to use incinerators or other disposal sites to dispose of documents and equipment, according to a memo to staff.
The memo stated that items bearing embassy or agency logos, American flags, or other items that could be misinterpreted in propagandistic efforts should also be included.
A spokesperson for the State Department stated that Kabul’s embassy was performing a “drawdown.”
The spokesperson stated that drawdowns at diplomatic posts around the globe follow a standard operating procedure to minimize our footprint in different categories. This includes staffing and equipment.
This memorandum is the latest indication of growing concern for the safety one of the largest US embassies around the world. It comes after President Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan after 20 years.
As they approached the capital, the Taliban seized Kandahar and Herat, two other important cities.
Biden ordered Thursday that 3,000 troops be sent to Kabul to remove US personnel. Preparations are underway to transfer embassy operations to Kabul as necessary.
However, the Pentagon said Friday that it didn’t see any imminent threat to Kabul.
Biden’s administration will take extra precautions to protect US diplomats. This is in light of the backlash following the 2012 attack by Islamists on the consulate in Benghazi. Four people, including the ambassador, were killed in the attack.