Controversial Promotion: Biden Admin Official Accused of Abandoning US Allies Elevated to Key Role
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Photo: Tracey Ann Jacobson

By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies

In a move that has sparked controversy and raised eyebrows, the Biden administration has nominated Tracey Ann Jacobson, 59, for the position of US ambassador to Iraq. Jacobson, who previously oversaw the visa process for US allies during the bungled Afghanistan withdrawal in 2021, has been accused of leaving behind as many as 150,000 US allies, creating a diplomatic and humanitarian challenge.

The nomination comes two years after Jacobson’s involvement in the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, where the US faced criticism for leaving Afghan allies behind to face the Taliban. Despite being tasked with overseeing the visa process to aid Afghans who had supported the US, a significant number were reportedly left stranded, awaiting evacuation.

The deadly pullout from Afghanistan proved to be a public embarrassment, as distressing images of desperate parents handing their babies to US soldiers circulated. President Biden had previously entrusted Jacobson with a “whole-of-government effort” to process, transport, and relocate Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other Afghan allies.

The 1208 Foundation, which assists US allies in obtaining visas, claims that up to 150,000 individuals are still waiting to escape Afghanistan, facing threats from the Taliban and its allies. The failure to evacuate these allies has had severe consequences, with reports of former Afghan officials, security force members, and those who collaborated with international military forces facing targeted attacks.

Jacobson’s nomination as the new ambassador to Iraq is met with skepticism, especially given the challenging geopolitical situation in the Middle East. The US is currently engaged in a regional conflict against Iran and its allies, leading to increased attacks on US troops by Iranian forces in Iraq. Jacobson’s role in overseeing the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, amid talks of ending the American-led anti-ISIS coalition, adds to the complexity of her nomination.

Republicans in the Senate are expected to scrutinize Jacobson’s role in the Afghanistan withdrawal during the confirmation process. Senator Ted Cruz voiced his concerns, stating that Jacobson played a central role in the “unforgivable” abandonment of vetted Afghans who risked their lives for US security.

While the State Department defended Jacobson’s work, highlighting the streamlined processes and issuance of nearly 38,000 Special Immigrant Visas since January 2021, critics argue that her nomination may be marred by the perceived failure in Afghanistan. The Senate’s upcoming vote on Jacobson’s appointment will likely be contentious, with questions lingering about her suitability for such a pivotal diplomatic role in Iraq.

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