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new video loaded: U.S. Focused on Evacuating Americans, Allies From Afghanistan



U.S. Focused on Evacuating Americans, Allies From Afghanistan

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the military operation in Kabul, Afghanistan, will ensure Americans and eligible Afghans can be safely evacuated.

We remain laser- focused right now on Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, and on doing everything that we can to continue evacuating Americans, allies, Afghans, who have worked alongside us, and also other courageous Afghans at special risk. And to that end, I’m prioritizing three key concerns. First, the safety and security of our people and the people that we’re trying to evacuate. As the chairman will brief you, the final elements of additional military forces continue to flow into Kabul, with about 4,500 in place as we speak. Currently, the security situation at the airport is stable. However, there are threats and we’re closely monitoring those. At any moment, they could happen. We can identify them. If we identify them, we will take immediate military action, without hesitation, in accordance with our rules of engagement, and the Taliban and every other organization in that country knows it. The Taliban are in and around Kabul right now, but they are not interfering with our operations. The intelligence clearly indicated multiple scenarios were possible. One of those was an outright Taliban takeover following a rapid collapse of the Afghan security forces and the government. Another was a civil war and a third was a negotiated settlement. There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days.

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