After over twenty years of involvement, the United States military has officially departed Afghanistan. However, due to the ensuing chaos and security vacuum, many American citizens and other allied personnel remain trapped following the tumultuous evacuation process and ongoing in-fighting within the besieged country.
Fortunately, a host of non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) have been able to augment various diplomatic efforts to evacuate these “at-risk” personnel. One such organization, the Coalition of Hope Foundation (COH), has been instrumental in leading humanitarian support operations with highly skilled ground personnel and intelligence networks. These silent professionals are deployed to quietly assist Americans and other High Value Targets (HVT’s) who are desperate to flee brutal Taliban retribution and oppression.
The COH organization is led by Timothy Keegan, Founder and CEO, who years earlier served as a highly decorated military intelligence officer assigned to NATO / International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul as a member of the U.S. Army. Now in a civilian role, Mr. Keegan is coordinating COH efforts through his organization’s vast network of global contacts and resources. The Coalition of Hope Foundation has to date evacuated a total of 716 HVT’s directly from the battlespace and facilitated another 1,245 to safety. “Our continuing intent is to locate and evacuate as many at-risk individuals as we can,” said Keegan. “If these HVT’s are not rescued, they will face certain torture and death due to the Taliban purges and the escalation of the ongoing Afghan civil war; therefore, every person we evacuate is a life saved.”
As Keegan told The Los Angeles Tribune, “The collapse of the Afghan government and the subsequent Taliban ascension to power has resulted in a catastrophic humanitarian crisis whose impact has not yet been fully appreciated. In absence of a stable, unified Afghan government acceptable to the broader world community, economic aid and other support will not be provided to the Taliban.” According to Keegan, “Their ability to extract payments from those supporting evacuations will only take them so far. There is no economy to speak of, the banks are closed, the currency is close to valueless, and basic human necessities such as food and medicine will be in very short supply for many months, if not years, to come.”
Said Bilani is a member of the COH Board of Advisors for International Engagements. In addition, Mr. Bilani is the Founder and Chairman of the Washington-based “Institute for Middle East Peace” and an American Foreign Policy and National Security expert. He has appeared as a guest commentator on leading Middle East news outlets to provide detailed analysis and foresight regarding the collapse of Afghan President Ghani’s government and the subsequent U.S. actions taken by the Biden Administration. According to Bilani, “The windows of opportunity to save those in peril are very short. How we choose to act in the days ahead will define our values as individuals and members of the international community. In these evolving circumstances, hours and minutes often make the difference between saving or losing a life.” Mr. Bilani goes on to say that “ethnic and religious minorities are at particularly grave risk and have only limited outside government advocacy or support.”
Indeed, in the opinion of many Western analysts, the Taliban have limited experience in operating a government as a result of the long-standing conflict that has existed in Afghanistan, and twenty years of Western influence upon Afghan’s urban population will be hard for them to control. In a country with easy access to weapons and ammunition, the long-term outlook is not promising. Protests have already begun across the country.
Since Kabul fell to the Taliban, COH has actively been working in Afghanistan to help mitigate the situation. “We had critical elements in place before the collapse of the Afghan government,” commented Keegan. While Keegan is highly cautious about disclosing operational details, he does confirm that his organization has both the necessary capability and the diplomatic support of various governments to continue life-saving missions, whether via overland procedures or chartered flights. The Foundation calls these missions, “COH AIR CARE”.
Although COH personnel are primarily focused on Afghanistan, the organization has also supplied volunteers in support of recent Haitian earthquake recovery and has facilitated resources during natural disasters in Puerto Rico and the continental United States.
Considering the Coalition of Hope Foundation’s scope and scale of expertise, both in advising and executing humanitarian relief, is an in-demand skill set tailor made to answer an immense need in these dangerous times.
The Coalition of Hope Foundation relies solely on donations to support their evacuation missions. Mr. Keegan asks those who can, to please contribute through the “COH Air Care” fund and share through individual social media platforms to maximize the public’s awareness of this growing human catastrophe.
To Contribute to COH:
Go Fund Me / COH AIR CARE
To Learn More about COH:
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