tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN August 25, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
i can tell you there isn't a single day that goes by where admiral vasely and general donohue aren't working this in a very personal way with taliban authorities outside the airport. let me go to another one on the phone. tara. >> thank you for doing this, john. yesterday the president mentioned, also, that he was calling upon the department to create contingency plans in case the number of americans and afghans that still need to get out have not gotten out by the 31st. can you just explain sort of what the department is thinking about what its options might be to continue to get americans out after the 31st if they haven't made it to the airport by then? just to follow on jeff's question with afghans that aren't getting through, have discussions gone on with the
taliban to maybe find some negotiation space for -- they've said no more afghans can leave. clearly there's 10,000 at the airport. so something is happening behind the scenes that's helping some people get through. can you talk about that to some extent? >> i'll turn it over to the general. >> i'll start with that last question first. it kind of comes off of some things that mr. kirby just said with that constant communication. i know the most senior commanders on the ground are out and discussing with the taliban leaders that are manning these checkpoints exactly what the documentation needs to look like, times and coordination, details of that. as we know, though, there are reports that some aren't able to get through there. i can tell you that the department of state, the
consulor affairs are working with commanders there to ensure that documentation, names and those things, as often as required, are being communicated to the taliban that are at those checkpoints to allow transition in there to get into the gates. >> tara, on contingency plans, obviously i'm not going to get ahead of the planning process. we are a planning organization. one of our main jobs is to make sure that the president has options. as he made clear yesterday, he wants to see this mission complete by the end of the month. we are still working towards that goal, but we will be drafting up potential -- what we call in the military, branches and sequels if, in fact, we believe a conversation needs to be had later on in the month that the timeline might need to
be extended. for what purpose, for what number, for how long, all of that is baked into the planning process. i'm just not going to get ahead of what the planners are doing. courtney. >> i'm still unclear about, at the very end of this, the 30th and 31st, who is going to be security at the airport as the last u.s. troops are leaving. is there going to be an agreement? sounded like you were saying the taliban would be responsible for security. >> no. i said the taliban will be responsible for running an airport in a city where they're now the tich her heads of government there. courtney, when we are gone, the airport will no longer be secured by american forces. what that security looks like after we're gone, i can't speak to that. >> before the u.s. leaves. let's say those last couple aircraft leave with americans, who is running security keeping
those aircraft and the runway safe. >> you're asking a very good tactical question, right? security, which we would call the commands' inherent responsibility throughout every phase of the operation, we are continuing to secure ourselves to the very last requirement of that. when you say who is securing the last flight and all those things, we will have that ability to secure ourselves through multiple means, to ensure flights are able to take off. >> while i have you up there, i want to clear one thing you've said. you said the most senior commanders on the ground are out and discussing things with the talibans. do you mean admiral vasely -- >> i don't want to give you names. i will tell you commanders who have authority at echelon to be able to communicate -- as we've said, the most important thing
is to be able to coordinate with the taliban to get the right people through. we've seen that there's been reports of not the right folks being able to get through -- so every day we are ensuring that we can get as many people in as possible so that we can fly them to safety. >> if i could ask you one more, john, on the equipment you were talking about earlier. when you talk about transitions towards getting military assets out, obviously getting the people out, american military out, will there be a point where you'll have a diecision about putting people on these aircraft or putting some of the equipment, artillery, all the equipment that's still at the airport there. has there been a decision made to prioritize lives over military equipment? >> lives are always going to be the priority, court, period. as we get closer to the end, there will be some equipment and systems that we will probably
take with us as we leave. the disposition of what we aren't taking with us, that will be up to admiral vasely to determine how that stuff is handled, but lives will always be the chief priority throughout this entire process. >> all national lts? >> lives with always be the priority throughout this process. let me go over here. >> you put out a statement that about 4,000 americans have been evacuated. >> that's correct. >> do you have a base number how many have to be evacuated? >> today north of 4,400. i don't have a specific number of total americans that are still in need of leaving. i don't have that. >> just a quick followup, the secretary and i guess the department at large have --
lawmakers to come to kabul unannounced? do you find it helpful for them to be there? >> we were not aware of this visit, and we are obviously not encouraging vip visits to a very tense, dangerous and dynamic situation at that airport and ensued kabul generally. the secretary think would have appreciated the opportunity to have had a conversation before the visit took place. >> just how disruptive was it having them there? >> they got a chance to talk to commanders, as i understand. they got a chance to talk to troops, but to say there wasn't a need to flex and to alter the day's flow including the need to
have protection for these members of congress, that wouldn't be a genuine thing for me to assert. there was certainly -- there was certainly a pull-off of the kinds of missions we were trying to do to be able to accommodate that visit. >> just to be clear, congressman moulton and congressman meyer, they took seats that would have been for refugees leaving and took time away from the mission. >> they certainly took time away from what we had been planning to do that day, and i don't know on the aircraft -- they did fly out on a military aircraft. i honestly don't know what the seat capacity was on that aircraft. but they are out of the country now. barb. >> just one more question on withdrawal in the coming days. since the president has said,
setting contingency planning aside, that everyone will be out by august 31st, my question is, do you have in hand all the authorities, approvals, signed orders, whatever is necessary to just move ahead and carry that out, or does the president, the secretary, general mckenzie, general millie, does somebody still have to sign an order to have that formal withdrawal begin? >> barb, without making it sound like i'm trying to gloss over your question, obviously we're tracking the end of the mission at the end of the month. of course, general mckenzie has retrograde plans on the shelf and ready to go. but i can assure you that before that effort is undertaken in
earnest, there will be a conversation with the secretary of defense and secretary austin will have a chance to provide his guidance with respect to retrograde. >> i'm sorry. i guess i don't understand. the president made a decision to stick to the deadline of august 31st of all intents and purposes. >> that's right. >> and you have that from the commander-in-chief. so what is it -- i just don't get it. what is it that still has to happen to have the formal official withdrawal begin? >> the president also said that he wanted the pentagon to come up with contingency plans should there be a need to have a conversation about altering the timeline. so we are tracking towards the 31st. there are retrograde plans that have been drafted up, and the secretary has seen them and is aware of them. i think you would expect that in
these final days the secretary would want to have the opportunity to issue specific direction to general mckenzie about going forward with those retrograde plans. we're focused on that date, but also focused keenly on making sure we get as many people out as fast as we can for as long as we can. if there has to be alterations to that, obviously secretary austin is going to want to be a part of that conversation and be able to issue his guidance and direction to commanders on the ground. christina. >> thank you. can you confirm that no americans have been killed since august 14 th? and if there is any american killed through august 31st, how would that be announced. >> are you talking american soldiers, troops? >> any american. >> no, there have been no u.s. troops killed since the 14th. i know of one minor injury.
i know of no american citizens who have been killed on this. we don't have perfect visibility to everything going on in kabul. we know of no american casualties. >> just one more question. when exactly does the august 31st deadline take effect? is that august 31st midnight or is that september 1st midnight? >> august 31st. >> you mentioned at some point the u.s. will prioritize getting military personnel out of hamid karzai international airport. i'm curious that given that, is there a point where afghan nationals and u.s. citizens will not be allowed to get into the airport, the supposition being that you would have to have some sort of cutoff before you can could fly the final troops out. if so, when is that? >> i want to go back to something i said earlier about airflow. as you've seen the capability over the last three days, over
90 aircraft total yesterday. a lot focused on evacuations. the way to answer that question is, the commanders who will go forward with their -- the plan, will have options to make decisions on a daily, sometimes hourly basis of what loads are ready, what aircraft are ready, can i put something else on that bird. that's how fluid and quite honestly, we're able to do that level of planning. it goes back to the overall mission, continue to be able to get as many out as possible. >> i appreciate that. i think one reason i'm a little confused, it seems part of this is contingent on the taliban and how they secure the area around the airport, who they let in and when they let them in. who makes the final determination of security outside the airport?
you made mention that there are communications happening. if the u.s. wanted some kind of national in and the taliban didn't want to let them in. who makes that determination and how is it sorted out? >> right now the airfield is secure to allow full operations. i do not assess that is going to change right now. that is our current planning, and we'll continue to go forward with that. >> nancy, i think to sort of revisit what i said before, we've been very clear with taliban leaders about what credentials we want them to accept. remember, it's american citizens. it's siv applicants and it's vulnerable afghans. we have shared what the proper credentials are. by and large, not saying it's been perfect, but by and large, the people that we have made clear to the taliban that we want to have access through the checkpoints have been able to get through, by and large.
again, with caveats. so it hasn't been a big problem to date. as the general said earlier, we also have other means to go out and get people in the we need to. we've now done three, rotary wing lifts. so we have that option available to us as well. did that answer your question? >> i don't mean to be kwib about this. let's say they're not letting in a certain credential you think should be let in. how is that resolved? >> good question. what would happen is the commanders on the ground would -- if that was brought to their attention -- and this has actually happened. this isn't notional. when we have reports that somebody who is properly credentialed is not being let in or maybe their family members, but they have proper credentials, we are making that clear to the taliban leaders
that, no, they are appropriate, you do need to let them in. again, there's been a little give and take. i think it was nazeera mentioned this earlier. not every checkpoint is manned by the same way and same individuals as others. there's variance in terms of how the word has gotten down and how much the taliban manning the checkpoint are following the dictates of their commanders. so that's why it's a constant communication on the ground with them to keep that flow going as much as possible. yes, there are stops and starts. there are hurdles that have to be overcome almost on any given day. really, it's a credit to the commanders on the ground there that they're continuing to have these conversations. did that get at it better? >> yes, thanks.
>> the south korean government is operating a military transport operation to receive the afghanistan refugees in south korea. it will arrive tomorrow. as you know, north korea sponsors the taliban and we know that in the past the north korean taliban, they conducted special training together. what -- and which poses the security threat? >> you want to take it? >> first of all, as we talk about the republic of korea's support to airlift, obviously we, as we said earlier, extremely grateful for their contribution to increase our
outflow. throughout the world, as you know, we talk about north korea and all of our combatant commands, specifically paycom are always diligent in watching in their mission of ensuring, keeping awareness of any type of thing north korea is doing. once again, we or very grateful and thankful for the republic of korea's support in doing this. >> do you have any contingency planned for anything happening in the korean peninsula during this -- >> indo paycom's mission remains unchanged and steadfast. >> i need to go to the phones and get some more. tony any. >> two quick questions. jen psaki said this evacuation is on track to be the largest airlift in u.s. history. the numbers you have applied so
far, 88,000 i think you said have been evacuated. are you pretty confident that you will be able to best the operation frequent win 1975 saigon evacuation where 131,000 people were evacuated by air and sea? >> we're not competing with history, tony. we're trying to get as many people out as fast as we can. when it's all said and done, we'll take a look at what we were able to accomplish. this isn't about trying to beat some sort of historical record. i will only add that at 88,000 in the course of just a week, week and a half is no small feat. you've seen us over the last three days alone exceed what we thought was going to be a maximum capacity. we certainly would like to keep that going for as long as possible. let me go back to the phones. sylvia, i'll get to you.
i promise. stephen locey. >> yes, thank you. can you tell me if all siv holders who have made it onto the airport ground with valid papers are going to be able to make it onto flights? i ask because an interpreter with an siv i've been in contact with, just made it onto the grounds, was almost put out of the gate. that appears to have now been corrected. but will this interpreter and other siv holders who are on the ground be able to fly out before the deadline is over? >> yes. sylvia. >> thank you. i have two small questions. first, about the numbers. you said that 88,000 departed since the 14th of august. is it only u.s. flight, so if it's not on a u.s. flight, how
many were evacuated by u.s. flights? >> total number? >> yes. >> right at around 58,000 to 60,000. >> okay. thank you. and the second question was about the president mentioned the isis-k threat. i wanted to know if you've received new threats, if there was an immediate danger at the gates or if it's a threat in general that you have known for a long time. >> so, as we talk about, we won't go into specific intelligence collection. but we know, as previously reported, there is a threat. this has been a dangerous place that has had threats by isis, and we continue to ensure that we collect and keep the force protection to the highest levels
possible to ensure we're able to continue evacuation operations. >> so you won't confirm new threats? >> we're not going to talk about the intelligence farm. you know that. as the general said, these are credible threats and we're mindful of that. we're not going to talk about it in great detail. megan. >> i want to clarify your remarks about the vaccine memo. is this to say that the secretary is not going to request a waiver from the president and dod will just give vaccines on a mandatory basis -- >> no, not at all. we'll have to see where the other vaccines end up. that's not at all what i meant to say. it's just that the only ones that will be made mandatory right now are the -- are ones licensed by the fda. >> so by mid september he may ask? >> i won't rule anything in or out. as the memo says, we'll only
make mandatory those that have fda licensure. the question alone would indicate that the other vaccines are getting close. >> how is the relationship between u.s. and taliban? do you think pakistan should play a role to make a good relationship? as long as i heard from taliban spokesperson, you guys have no good relationship, right, because they prevented civilian to leave afghanistan. do you think that pakistan has role? which role play pakistan? >> all of afghanistan's neighbors can play a role here. we hope that they do, a constructive role in afghanistan's future. pakistan certainly i would think would figure largely into thatting lus, as we talked about. there's safe havens across the border remain a problem. we've been very honest and
candid with pakistani leaders about the importance of not allowing that. you would want to believe that they also share that sense of urgency because they, too, are the victims of terrorist attacks that emanate from there. they should, and i suspect that they will want to play a significant role going forward. and we would just ask for them and for any country, any neighboring country to make that as constructive as possible. in the back there. >> what percent of the forces aren't vaccinated yet and when will they have to be vaccinated by? >> so, on the active duty force, 68% is fully vaccinated, and we estimate just over 76% have at least one dose. i can break this down by the services. this would include guard and reserves in these figures. for the army, 40% fully vaccinated with 57% with one
dose. for the marine corps, 53% fully vaccinated, 60% with one dose. for the navy, 73% fully vaccinated, 79% with at least one dose. and for the air force, which includes space force, that's 57% fully vaccinated, 64% with one dose. the secretary has made clear his expectation to the military departments that he wants them to move with some alacrity here and get the forcefully vaccinated as fast as possible. if you look in his memo, you'll see he tasked them to regularly update the deputy secretary on a very frequent basis on how they're moving out to achieve those goals. right now this mandatory vaccine will just be pfizer, and we'll see where it goes with the other licensures. >> john, will you be mandating vaccines for any of the afghan refugees who come into the united states and are brought here by the u.s. military?
>> i'm going to leave that question to the state department. there is covid screening being done at each stop along the way. again, i think that's a better question for the state department. >> you just said any siv holders that come to the gate would be let onto a flight. we're getting realtime reports that marines are turning away siv holders. can you clarify, are marines supposed to be turning away those with siv papers or with authorization to come onto the airport? have they closed down abby gate? >> i'm going to let the general take that question. the question that was posed to me by, i think it was stephen, was if you have siv credentials and you're at the field, if you're on the airport, will you be able to get off. the answer is yes. i'll let the general take that. >> obviously, i can't speak to
the absolute realtime to the second report. the guidance still remains. those that have the proper paperwork and are safely at the gates, is to bring them in and to process them. i can't speak to that specific report there. but what i do know is that, whether it's our marines or soldiers that are at those gates, working with the counselor officers who are there, as people are there and present the proper siv paperwork, we are to get them as quickly as possible in, process them -- >> can you make sure that message gets down to the abby gate? this is a legitimate report that just came in. >> we appreciate those reports, right? i just know as i have talked to the commanders that they're using a lot of time and it's good to ensure they get this
information and put it out throughout the entire force. >> jen, without speaking to this case, sometimes gates -- traffic is halted at the gates to manage flow on the airport. it's a physics issue. again, appreciate that. if you share with us after the briefing the details of this, we will certainly pass it on, absolutely. >> can i ask one more vaccine question. now there's been several weeks since the decision to make this mandatory, what is the secretary's policy or decision on any troops who refuse to get the vaccine? >> great question. what the secretary has communicated to the military departments is to execute this mandatory vaccination program with obviously skill and professionalism, which we always do, but also with a measure of compassion. so for a member who still objects -- obviously you can ask for an exemption on religious grounds. you certainly can be exempt if
you have a pre-existing condition that your doctor advises you not to get it, obviously. but if it's an objection outside those two frameworks, the individual will be offered a chance to sit down with a physician and have that physician communicate to them the risks that they're taking by continuing to not want to take the vaccine. they will also be offered a chance to sit down with their chain of command and their leadership to talk about the risks that their objection will impose on the unit and on the force and on their teammates. the point is, court, that the commanders have a wide range of tools available to them to help their teammates make the right decision for themselves, for their families and for their units. we expect and the secretary expects that the commanders will use those tools short of having to use the ucmj. >> if the service member goes
through the counseling, doesn't have a religious objection and still objects, the individual will -- >> the commanders have a wide range of tools short of using the ucmj. >> they get like an njp basically? >> court, i can't give you an exact answer to every hypothetical situation. once you mandate it, as we've done, it's a lawful order. it's a lawful order. we fully anticipate that our troops are going to follow lawful orders. when you raise your right hand and take that oath, that's what you agree to do. it hasn't been a problem in the past with other vaccines. i recognize covid has a different history to it, a different cultural aprescription
to it. we understand commanders will have plenty of other tools available to them to get the vaccination rates up and get these individuals -- >> i think that's almost a full hour. we're going to call it for right now. as the general mentioned in his opening statement, we'll shoot for an afternoon briefing. this one will be with general walters from ucom specifically -- i'm kate bolduan. john kirby as well as general hank taylor taking questions from reporters on the ongoing evacuation efforts from afghanistan. jeremy diamond is at the white house, listening in to the update. the pentagon making clear they're still working towards the august 31st deadline. what are you hearing about this deadline and the new threat from isis and just the days ahead? >> reporter: listen, kate, it's very clear that president biden's decision to stick with the august 31st deadline has
been motivated by the increasing threat that the u.s. is seeing on the ground from isis-k, the offshoot of isis that operates in afghanistan, as well as the possibility for any confrontation with the taliban. what we heard from the pentagon to take is miking clear that that is the plan right now. they're still drafting those contingency plans that the president asked for if, in deed, there's a need to go past that august 31st deadline. interesting, john kirby, reiterated what the president said, every afghan interpreter, siv applicant who is at the airport will be able to get on the plane. he made that commitment. that's something we'll have to watch. kirby also said that 4,400 americans have been evacuated so far. we're waiting to hear from secretary of state anthony blinker next hour who is expected to give a projection of how many americans still remain to be withdrawn.
that certainly is an important figure as we watch the final days of this mission. kate. >> absolutely. jeremy, thank you very much. joining me is republican congressman adam kinzinger who served in afghanistan, also a member of the house foreign affairs committee. congressman, you listened to that. thank you for sticking around. biden sticking with his deadline. you hear the latest amazing, heroic effort of the military on the ground, 19,000 people evacuated in the last 24 hours, bringing the total up to 88,000 people since the beginning of this. you do not like what the president has committed to in terms of the deadline. what do you want to see happen in the next six days? >> i think the key is just we're going to leave when we have everybody out that needs to come out. the august 31st deadline is really arbitrary. if you remember president biden initially said they would all be out by september 11th. they realized the optics of
making that day a big day, so he backed it up to august 31st. it wasn't based on any necessary issue except that they picked that. i look at this and i go, that needs to be the commitment. we're going to leave when every player khan that wants to get out is out, when every afghan siv applicant is out. we're not going to be kowtowed to what the taliban want us to do. by the way, the isis threat doesn't necessarily increase after august 31st. it is a persistent and real threat. but very have a commitment to make. our military, by the way, is fully capable of really doing good stuff like this and also defending these people as well. >> there's an important question from a reporter in this briefing who asked about vulnerable afghans who are afraid for their lives under taliban rule, though they are not the siv applicants, not p1, not p2 they're not in the line that the
administration has been talking about that they're focused on so far. she said what should they do. kirby didn't have a good answer, and i'm wondering if that's because, there are is a harsh reality to this right now. many afghans that the administration aims to help will be left behind. administration officials are now beginning to acknowledge that. do you agree with that? is that the sad reality of what happens when you lose the war? you can't save everyone. >> yeah, it is true. i'm getting inundated with people, some who are afghan siv holders trying to get out, some that are green cardholders and some that are family of folks. there's no category for them. they're stuck. this is why it was such a strong advocate for saying there is a reason we need to stay in average and not leave in the first place because the endless war, people like rand paul keep talking about, the endless war is not the u.s. partnering with afghanistan.
the endless war is the war that has been declared against us by these radicals and by these that would attack women and take away rights. look, unfortunately, we are where we are. i think the reality is without u.s. troops there with a date certain to end, there's unfortunately going to be a lot more tragedy that comes out after the last u.s. troop leaves. i'm heartbroken about it, but i think it's a reality. >> the taliban are now saying that no afghans can leave the country. you heard john kirby say they expect afghans are still making it through and expect that to continue. the quote from the taliban is we're not going to allow that. there's also i think extremely important reporting come out, the taliban today telling women to stay home from work because taliban soldiers, quote, keep changing and are not trained. essentially that women cannot be safe in leaving their houses right now. they say that is a temporary
measure, this coming from the taliban. but at this point in this moment, if that's what they're laying out, what should the u.s. reaction be to it? >> again, i think on the withdrawal process, we should say we're going to leave when the last person is out. not that he wants to get into a shooting war again, but they've been on the receiving end of 20 years of american military power and they lost every battle. where they finally defeated the kbrats wasn't in battle, but was in our will. 20 years is too long, even though it took the united states many, many decades, if not sentries to get our act together. what you're seeing with the taliban is not a protecting measure. this is what the taliban are. they try this temporary charm of it. we're seeing the reality of it. women are going to be brutalized under this regime. we were in a classified briefing yesterday. i've seen the ones we just saw
on television. what they're briefing is very different than the reality we're hearing on the ground. i'm getting inundated with people saying they're at the gate, getting turned away. they have valid paperwork, they don't know why. i think in hindsight, we'll see what all went down. i think it's important to note, this is not a smooth process where everybody with paperwork is getting through the airport now. there is a lot of misinformation we're hearing. >> does that get to the contingency planning part of this? we heard kirby saying they're in the process of coming up with contingency plans as president biden has requested. my question is, is it clear to you, as much as you can say, what would trigger the president to change course, would trigger these contingency plans? >> i have no clue what would trigger then. we should prioritize americans
out of afghanistan, absolutely, but once americans are out, that that gives the impetus then to leave the afghan sivs that we haven't by august 31st behind. that's what we're concerned about. we're going to end up saying, we got all the americans out, i did a great job in doing that. in terms of the contingency, if the al ban decided to attack us, it would be a contingency. >> isn't an evac like this always going to be messy? they could have planned better, but do you acknowledge, especially when you've got the threat of isis now very real, very persistent, the taliban control kabul, the groundwork was laid by the trump administration for this clash to see the taliban gain strength. wasn't this evacuation -- do you think this evacuation was always going to be messy no matter what? >> not this messy.
i think there was always going to be a mess. you said it right. about a year and a half ago the u.s. started laying the groundwork saying the war wasn't worth it as they were negotiating with the taliban. the issue and the execution came -- we abandoned bagram air base for some reason. i think that should have been the last thing we left. also, when you saw the afghan army collapsing, which, by the way, when you lose your air power and lose your logistics support, militaries collapse. when they saw that happening, there was no rush to rush troops in, resecure bagram or secure kabul airport, recognizing the eventuality of what was going to happen. that didn't happen until about a day or two prior to us even leaving the embassy. we talk about having this over-the-horizon counterterrorism capability now in afghanistan, that is gone as well. the cost of this is massive.
not having seen it happen, i think there's got to be real investigations as to why and how that can be corrected. >> even in a before and after action report, can i just ask you, you said there's a lot of misinformation or disinformation that is out there. do you really think -- disinformation often -- it indicates that you think they're lying to the american people. do you think the pentagon is lying to the american people about what's hang, or is this just part of the mess? >> i don't think they're lying. i think, look, it's a matter of, you've got to put a decent spin on it. you don't want to create panic. people in washington, d.c. don't necessarily know everything that's happening on the ground, and we're getting information that's happening in other areas. i guess by misinformation, given the role of misinformation lately, that's probably a little more intense than i meant. but the reality is the situation we're hearing from folks on the ground is far different.
i've got to tell you, as we open this up, too, the u.s. military, as always, is doing amazing, executing flawlessly. i can't imagine being one of those u.s. marines on the wall watching the taliban beating women and shoving children around and knowing you can't do anything about it. that's going to have a special psychological impact on our brave marines. >> congressman, thank you for coming in. >> any time. let me bring in cnn's c kyl atwood, nick paton walsh and peter bergin. they've said 4,400 americans have been evacuated. all eyes are at the state department with the secretary of state tony blinken to be given more detail and clarity on exactly how many americans are left. what are you expecting him to
say? >> the secretary of state we know is going to focus on how unprecedented this evacuation is, the fact that the united states has gotten out about 60,000 people from afghanistan and that they have had personalized contact with all the americans that are in the country to try and get them to safety and get them out of the country. it is an extraordinary effort that they have pulled off here. what we're looking to learn from the secretary of state is exactly how many americans are still in the country that are looking to get out. that is what president biden promised the secretary of state was going to deliver today in what he called would be a detailed report. why that number is so significant is because the president has continually said that the united states won't leave until all the americans who want to leave are out of the country. so once that number gets closer to zero, that will be when this mission changes from an evacuation mission into a mission to get out the u.s. military in tow at that time.
we know the state department has been working around the clock. we also know there's been a tremendous amount of criticism that they hadn't done more to prepare for this. the secretary of state has repeatedly said that there will be time for criticism, time to look back at what went wrong, but today we expect his comments are going to focus on what they're doing now and what more they need to do before this august 31st deadline. >> we'll be hearing from the secretary of state at the top of the next hour. nick, what is the view from dohar right now which is, as we have learned, the main first stop for so many evacuees once they leave kabul? >> i've been speaking to a source familiar with the situation on that airport. it does sound frankly chaotic. that's the word this source used. apparently the main challenge is to get more people off these closing windows off the actual evacuation. as you heard the pentagon, there are thought to be 10,000
currently at the airport, up from the 1,000 this morning. i also understand that the australians, canadians and italians are beginning their process of departure. that is a sign certainly that nato allies, too, as well as -- you heard the pentagon explain the departure of hundreds of troops in the past 24 hours was part of a general flow but not triggering the beginning of the end of this presence. nato allies appear to be taking this opportunity to leave as well. the question we keep asking is can these siv applicants get onto the base. i understand it's very difficult for those on the base trying to pull siv applicants aside, to identify them, grab them, pull them out. while i understand there's been some success with getting local embassy afghan staff onto the airport, they're struggling to pick specific sivs out.
it's beginning to overwhelm the system they have, the sheer number of people that are desperate for help. it's clear that it's beginning to reflect we're in possibly the closing hours or days of the evacuation operation and we're beginning to see nato allies pack up and depart. the real question, of course, is how many more can get through the taliban checkpoints with the varying taliban stance. from listening to this, it's kind of pot luck in who you know whether you get onto the airport or not. there's a mechanism where taliban can escort approved groups through the southern civilian entrance they've controlled for quite some time. they may come across the u.s. troops and cross into the military side of the airport. i understand, too, at that place a lot of people turn up who don't have prior authorization saying can you help us out. that, of course, is causing chaos. clearly there are groups of people desperate to get onto the airport.
there is a limited capacity of those on the airport to pull them out of these heaving crowds at the gate, already perilous. some of the scenes remarkable with people walking around in sewage dumps. this closing window is accentuating all that tension and the fears of those who think they have literally hours left to try to get onto the airport. they may be right. >> nick, thank you for that. peter, there's also this new reporting, and it was spoken to tangentially, if you will, at the pentagon briefing, there's a very specific threat stream from isis-k about planned attacks against crowds outside the airport. you know afghanistan so well and the many different terror and extremist groups that have been in and out for years. how does isis-k play into the dynamic that we're watching play out in afghanistan in the power struggle now with the taliban? >> i think the concerns are very legitimate. isis-k has shown the ability to
kill at will in kabul. they've carried out attacks that have killed dozens, including girls. they have a dispute with the taliban, but their similarities are more than their differences in the sense that they share the same world view. the estimates i've seen, there are about 1,000 to 2,000 isis-k fighters. they took quite a number of hits over the last couple years with u.s. operations against them in afghanistan. what's changed and what's been reported, we've seen releases of prisoners, a lot of prisoners from two very large prisons outside kabul, one is bagram air force base which, of course, the taliban took over. another is a prison where i spent a fair amount of time, both prisons were full of taliban, al qaeda and isis. we saw in iraq in the summer of 2014 when isis kind of rolled through iraq, the first thing they did is release the
prisoners. these jihadi groups are being very strongly replenished by the prisoner releases that have happened over the last several days. i think the threat stream -- i'm sure it's intense and it's real. nothing would give isis-k greater satisfaction than at attack on the airport right now. >> the late of the report is no american troops, no american citizens killed since this all began 11 days ago. how fragile that security is clearly at this moment. thank you very much for that. coming up for us, new information about the n gentleman air 6th investigation coming from capitol hill and the giant scope of the select committee's investigation now. we'll be right back.
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your shipping manager left to “find themself.” leaving you lost. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. indeed instant match instantly delivers quality candidates matching your job description. visit indeed.com/hire breaking news. cnn has just learned the house select committee investigating the january 6th capitol attack is request a huge amount of documents from several federal agencies. what are you learning about this and what does this signal? >> it signals they are going for an extraordinarily wide net.
we've just got this request in. we see they are trying to target a list of agencies from the national archives, the ku custon of the white house logs, which includes the fbi, the department of defense, department of interior, department of justice, department of home laland secur. let me give you highlights from the request to the national archives. this is a lengthy letter. we're seeing outlined specific people they are hoping to learn more about. the letter requests they produce documents from within the white house that are related to a list of events that go as far back as april 2020. they're looking for any documents that are all related to efforts to try to undermine, contest the 2020 election.
we're still working our way through it. one thing that got to me as i was reading through this, they are looking for all documents and communications concerning the 2020 election and related to the following individuals. this list is enormous. i'm looking through it right now. it includes enrique tarrio who was just sentenced for burning a black lives matter flag. he's a member of the proud boys. that to me sticks out among a list of these names here, which also includes members of the trump family, members of the trump campaign. they're trying to figure out is who are the main players i
new numbers from the pentagon this morning. 19,000 people evacuated in the last 24 hours. 88,000 people have been evacuated since the beginning of all of this. we also learned from a u.s. defense official that intelligence clearly is indicating that the terror group isis-k is planning and is capable of carrying out multiple attacks on those crowds outside hamid karzai airport waiting and trying to get in. the secretary of state is expected to offer some answers to some of the biggest questions
of this operation. how many americans are still in the country and how many afghan allies do they expect to bring out and also leave behind? kaitlan collins hearing have a matter of days left. this deadline doesn't go into effect until next week on august 31st. the actual deadline for evacuations is much sooner than that. the white house and the pentagon confirmed that. at some point they have to focus on drawing down the thousands of troops they surged there to help with this effort and getting the weaponry and machinery out of there. that is going to be a big point of focus here. a big question is when do these evacuations end and what is that end date that officials are currently working with. how many american es have b
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