Nearly half of the approximately 53,000 Afghan evacuees living on U.S. military bases are children, according to a letter from the Pentagon.
The Oct. 8 letter from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was a response to written questions posed by Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee.
“The American people deserve answers about what happened in #Afghanistan, so I sent @SecDef a letter asking for more information,” Inhofe tweeted Wednesday.
“Last week, I received his initial responses. I will continue this dialogue as @SASCGOP presses ahead w/ rigorous oversight of the failed drawdown.”
— Sen. Jim Inhofe (@JimInhofe) October 20, 2021
The letter, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, said about 22 percent of the evacuees at American military bases were female adults and 34 percent were male adults.
That means approximately 44 percent of the evacuees living at U.S. military installations are under the age of 18.
Of the 124,000 people evacuated from Afghanistan, the Pentagon said 85 percent, or 105,400, were Afghans. The letter did not say how many of the evacuees were unaccompanied minors.
The Wall Street Journal reported that nine of the 12 questions posed by Inhofe required Austin to provide classified answers. The letter offered limited public information, but much remains unanswered.
“I’m glad we finally have some of the answers my colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee and I have been asking, about who we evacuated and how the Department of Defense is supporting these evacuees,” Inhofe said, according to the report.
“It’s clear the Department faces challenges ahead in this regard, and I intend to watch this process closely.”
Afghan evacuees are currently housed on eight military bases across the country, according to Austin’s response.
The locations include Camp Atterbury in Indiana; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey; Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico; Fort Bliss in Texas; Fort Lee in Virginia; Fort Pickett in Virginia; Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia; and Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.
In addition, Afghan evacuees are hosted at several bases internationally.
Some of the locations include U.S. bases in Germany, Italy, Kosovo and Spain.
No details were shared regarding the number of Afghan evacuees on international U.S. military bases or future plans for how many may later move to the U.S.
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