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Pentagon Official: No Discussion Right Now About Expanding the Perimeter Around Airport Under U.S. Control; U.N. Military Assisting Operations in Haiti; Pentagon: U.S. Troops Still are not Being Used to Retrieve Americans in Kabul, Other Parts of Afghanistan; Norwegian Refugee Council Working to Protect Afghans; UK Lawmakers Blast Biden, Johnson Over Unfolding Crisis; Five Days on, Locals Say Central Government Hasn't Helped. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired August 19, 2021 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJOR GENERAL HANK TAYLOR, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, U.S. JOINT STAFF REGIONAL OPERATIONS: --that ability to air move up to 5000 to 9000 a day has been
set and continues. As I think you've seen at the report today of the increased numbers, we continue to see the ability to build those ready to
fly on Kabul airport to increase to allow us to fly those out.
With the ability to continue, obviously, as Mr. Kirby said, we want that to continue to increase as we continue to bring more people, more American
citizens as - visa knows on to the airfield so that they can be processed and ready to fly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have there been any requests from DOD officials to maybe expand and perimeter around the airport so that there's more of a
safe zone for people while they're waiting in line? And if there have been what the Taliban's response to that was?
TAYLOR: So the commander on the ground, I think you've seen is the airfield to secure. And every day in security, security operations, commanders are
always what we can, improving the security environment.
So is the commander on the ground, at every level, finds those things that need to be improved to increase the security to allow mission success,
they're going to do those things that they have those authorities to do on a daily basis.
So I think as you saw today, the ability to continue State Department's ability to bring more people on, and to continue those, that's what we will
continue to look at over the next few days.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do they have the ability to expand the perimeter around the airport?
JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: There's been, I don't want to get ahead of where we are. The mission remains security at the airport and
inside the perimeter of the airport. And that's what we're doing. There are that as we speak, there are no plans to expand beyond that. And I think we
leave it at that.
The other thing I want to just touch on your first question, with the Generals talking about his capacity. And as I said, from very early on,
what we want to make sure is that airlift is not a limiting factor.
And it and it hasn't been, that doesn't mean that at this point in time, every single seat on every single plane is going to be filled, we are
working hard to get there. But we want to build out to that capacity. And we continue to do that.
There are lots of factors that go into the throughput, including the situation out in town, including the checkpoints that the Taliban have set
up, including processing at the gates where we have set up and the general mentioned, we've got an additional gate that are available to us.
So that's helping flesh out some of this capacity. Weather is a factor. And of course security at the airport is a factor and we're not taking either
those last two actually aren't taking any of them. But we're certainly not taking weather or security at the airport for granted.
It changes. You know, every day, the insecurity, environment changes and of course, the weather. So there are lots of tick points, on the way to the
getting to throughput. What we want to make sure is that that one limiting factor is not airlift capacity.
And as the General said, we're confident that that it is not now and going forward, it will not be. But that doesn't mean that there aren't going to
be that doesn't mean that you can meet it just because you have 5000 seats that you can automatically fill 5000 seats every day now.
That's what we want to get to, we want to as the Secretary said, move as many people as fast and as safely as possible. But there are lots of steps
in the process. Not all of them do we control. And we understand that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some clarification on that. So you're, are you saying that you're at that capacity right now that with these flights, these -
things that have come in, you would have the capacity to take 5000 people out in 24 hours right now, but you but you're only - you've only taken 2000
TAYLOR: So like I said, within the CENTCOM commanders capabilities and assets available, we have the appropriate air assets to fly the 5000 to
9000 a day, depending upon the ability, the meaning the cue, right, those ready to fly. We bring in assets to fly them out.
So yes, we have assets available throughout CENTCOM and available to reach those numbers today, and we have had those.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But what's physically flying in right now and these 24 hours, is that enough? I guess we could do the math and see how many people
can get on 13 --.
TAYLOR: It's - merits, it's not about the math, it's about what's ready to fly. You know, who's on the airfield ready to leave a holding area and get
on the aircraft. And as those numbers increase, which you seem they'd have in the last 24/48. The CENTCOM command team will continue to bring in the
airflow required to fly out those people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John, back to you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --a factor in this, among your many other factors is the U.S. now dependent upon the Taliban to keep those terrorist groups in
check during this operation?
KIRBY: ISIS and Al Qaeda is absolutely a planning factor. You wouldn't expect it to be otherwise. And I'm not going to talk about specific force
protection measures against terrorist threats. I think, but clearly we're, we're, we're mindful that, that that threat could persist.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that part of the reason for the overhead flights?
KIRBY: The over watch flights, again, have been in the air since before the noncombatant evacuation operation. Its prudent force protection measures in
the air to make sure that we can protect our people in our operations against any threat to any threat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or can I just, so I still want to be clear, you're nowhere near you're nowhere near the demand for getting people out is
nowhere near the five to 9000 that you're you have established and maintained this capacity to do right, one question. Two is, what's the best
estimate of American citizens are the first priority?
What's the best estimate that you guys have that you'll work through those, and then you can turn kind of full time as it were, to SIVs, Afghans or
whatever, and I am not thinking about --.
KIRBY: So a couple of points on this. I mean, as the General said, we have the capacity now. There are certainly enough airframes to meet the
capacity; we'd like to have five to nine. But, that doesn't mean that that that number of airframes is just landing at Kabul, and then we're just
taking them off empty.
We're trying to make maximum use of the ramp space of the aircraft and of the queue. And we're going to adjust that every day. The demand, the demand
will drive the demand and the queue will drive, what kind of - how many stories we fly? And I'm sorry, your second question was?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like, what's the best estimate of when you --.
KIRBY: Yes. And you asked about American citizen. So I think as the General briefed, I mean, just in the last 24 hours of the 2000 that got out, it was
a mix of American citizens and family members, as well as special immigrant visa applicants and other at risk Afghans.
And I think you're going to see that every day, Gordon, I mean, obviously, we want to take care of our American, fellow Americans and the Secretary
and the Chairman were clear about that. But we also want to take care of at risk Afghans and special immigrant visa applicants.
And so we're not, you know, we're not holding up a plane just to fill it with Americans and then sending it off. We are processing people as fast as
we can, and getting them on to their onward stations. It's, it's a balance, and we're trying to strike that balance every single day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John, what proportion of the 2000 is American citizens versus SIVs? What proportion are women as well?
KIRBY: I don't have a gender breakdown, Jen. Of the 2000, over the last 24 hours, I think nearly 300 of them were Americans, and that includes legal
permanent residents. It includes obviously American citizens as well as family members.
And that's going to everyday it's going to change but I don't have a gender breakdown of what the manifests are on a daily basis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And does the U.S. government recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan?
KIRBY: That's a question for the State Department. The Defense Department is focused on conducting this noncombatant evacuation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Question and a clarification, are you seeing more throughput of individuals who are able to access the airport? Are you
seeing more people being able to access the airport over the last 24 hours?
KIRBY: We have seen by opening up another gate by adding consular officers now. We believe that we will soon begin to see an opening up of the
aperture. And we're hopeful that that means a more consistent increase in the flow.
But I can't tell you right as we speak here, Louis, that there's been some dramatic rise. I mean, we've got additional consular officers now at the
additional gates with additional troops helping the consular officers. And so I think we're poised to see an increase.
But I want to be careful before I make predictions. What we're trying to do what we want to drive is an increase that's very much on everybody's mind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the clarification is you're talking about American citizens about Afghans, SIVs. The 7000 number that was presented earlier on
the General had said that you're now including other countries, evacuations and in those numbers, is that accurate? Or is the 7000 exclusively U.S. --?
KIRBY: It's others, it has always every time since the 14th when we've given you numbers they have included some measure of third country
nationals. Hang on please, one at a time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, this is confusing how many people has the U.S. government flown out on U.S. military planes? Because 7000 if you're
including other countries, if you're including civilian flights, that's seems like you're -
KIRBY: We've given you the total numbers of people that we have helped evacuate since the 14th. And it's not all just Americans.
There have been some of our allies and partners that have gone out and we're giving you U.S. government flights. I'm not even that's not counting
people who are still getting out commercially or on charter flights. OK, is that clear?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's perfect.
KIRBY: We get and understandably so here at the Pentagon, we're fixated on the tails that we own. But it's not the only way out of Kabul right now
that as the General briefed the commercial side is open, there's limited, it's not as robust as what we can do on the military side, but people are
still getting out that way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --those numbers, the 7000, saying, this is U.S., this is Afghan?
KIRBY: I do not have a breakdown. I suspect that over time, as our manifesting process gets more refined, we may be able to be that be there.
But I we don't have that specific breakdown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many Americans American citizens remain in Afghanistan?
KIRBY: I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you're, I mean, you're planning for these operations. And you should be, you know, have some kind of a count of how many
Americans are whether in harm's way or need to be evacuated, right?
KIRBY: I think, as you probably know, first of all, the State Department would be a better place to go for an estimate of how many Americans are
Afghanistan or in and around Kabul, that is not a figure that the United States military would know.
And I think you also know not every American citizen in another country. There's no obligation that they register their presence. And that we and
that you can have a perfect accurate count. But I don't have that figure. And I'd refer you to my state department colleagues for the best estimate
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kirby, does the President have the author? Does the Pentagon have the authorization at this point in time to expand the
perimeter at the airport or to go it's a Kabul, if necessary, from the President?
KIRBY: The mission - is to provide safe and secure operations at the airport.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am asking if you, the Pentagon have the authorization from the president.
KIRBY: I'm not going to talk; I'm not going to talk about the potential of any future decisions one way or another. That would be a policy decision.
We are focused on security at the airport.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is do you have the authorization now at this point? Who makes that decision? Is it Biden, or is --?
KIRBY: We are authorized to provide safe and secure operations at the airport, Helene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you talk a little bit about the logistics regarding the human needs of the people at the airport? There are a lot of civilians
a lot of troops? There's food, there's sleeping arrangements, water sanitation? Are you handling both military and civilian? And how is that
how are you doing that?
TAYLOR: So when you look at when whoever comes into the gated - and is processed for ready fly. All human needs, you know, all of those things,
basic needs to ensure their welfare, their care, to ensure the medic, all those things to ensure they can go forward and fly are being done.
And that is a combination of State Department support and military support working hand in hand, the commander and State Department to ensure eating,
sleeping, well taken care of, you know, out of the elements are being done absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got like two more weeks almost at this. Are there concerns about maintaining the input of supplies, the cleanliness over
TAYLOR: As military planners, we always ensure that we have the proper supplies on days for, you know, to conduct missions and those are assessed
on a daily basis. And those commanders are always assessing, what do we have now? What do I need to do in the short term and so forth?
And so we are always continuing to and that's why you see other planes continuing to arrive as required to continue to ensure commander has
everything they need to do to execute the mission that we have right now.
KIRBY: I need to get to somebody on this room too. Tom Squitieri?
TOM SQUITIERI, REPORTER: Hi, John. Thanks. Good morning. Hey, I wanted this check on something in regard to the Pentagon policy that existed to provide
air support and other assistance to the Afghan government that was in place this summer.
Has that policy ended with the fall at Kabul? Or is it still alive for elements of the government that's still functioning in places like the
Panjshir Valley. Thanks.
KIRBY: Tom, as I think you can see, by events, it's - there's there aren't operations out in the rest of the country to support. And our focus in
terms of air power is as the General described, and that is providing appropriate over watch for our operation. And that operation right now is
at the airport. Barbara?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Back on the question of gates at the airport, can you tell us this new gate that you open, are the Taliban
outside of that gate? Are they letting people, both Afghans and U.S. people with U.S. documentation U.S. citizens through that new gate?
And have you been able to keep very specifically all of your gates, including camp Sullivan on your side? Have you been able to keep them open?
Or have you had to close camp Sullivan at various points? Have you had to close any of the gates?
TAYLOR: So the gates at the Kabul airport are secure. And as we continue to flow, more forces in that gives the commander greater capability to provide
security those gates and as we said, open more gates and allow for greater input into Kabul airport.
STARR: I'll follow up with Kirby. All respect. The question is, are all of the gates continuously open? Have you had to close out the Marines had to
close Sullivan at various points? Do you have the Taliban letting people through this new gate that you're talking about? Have you been able to keep
them all continuously open?
KIRBY: Barbara, as the as the General said, we have additional gates now and they and reporting this morning is that they are open. But I can't tell
you with perfect clarity that there haven't been times over the last 72 hours when temporarily because of maybe security incidents that they've had
I suspect that that's true. I don't have a firm answer for you on that. Our goal is obviously to keep them as open as possible, and to increase the
flow as much as we can.
STARR: Just for the record, have any of the U.S. troops have been involved in any additional crowd control measures that included them having to fire?
KIRBY: I'm not aware of any over the last 24 hours.
STARR: Thank you.
KIRBY: I think that's probably good is a good place to stop. So thanks very much. My plan is to come, Jim.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I could just get a - question, the reports that American military medical teams are going into the area. Do you have anything on
TAYLOR: That's what I said earlier. So first, we do have Air Force, medical personnel, they're helping assist. And the first thing I saw said were, you
know, the flights of those helicopter, we're bringing in one of our medical hospital capabilities, and more to come today to be able to help and assist
in a medical hospital first aid type care.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So they're setting up a field hospital that will be manned by American military personnel.
TAYLOR: That is correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great. Thank you.
KIRBY: Thanks, everybody. My plan is to update you again this afternoon, but it will be off camera. So we'll see about 2:15, recess the plan right
now. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ISA SOARES, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Now you have been watching a briefing from the Pentagon where you military, U.S. military officials
updated us on the situation in the ground in Afghanistan. Bear with me, as I talked you through some of those points.
So we know from the Press Secretary John Kirby just heard there said that Kabul airport remains secure and open. He says the U.S. military troop
presence in Kabul is now 5200 on the ground since August, the 14th 7000 people have been evacuated, they said.
It also said that the U.S. military has capacities it can allow capacity between 5000 between 5000 to 9000 people to be evacuated every day.
But the last 24 hours they've only evacuated 2000. So clearly they're not meeting that capacity, whether that's because of processing or putting
people getting people through the gates or security or the checkpoints that that's to be determined.
They also said Kirby also said, Professor John Kirby also said that there has been a new hostile interaction he said, between our forces united the
United States and the Taliban, but any attack by the Taliban, he said will be met with a forceful response. He also said there now have over watch
flights but then clarify those other watch flights have been in place prior to the last few days.
SOARES: And in the question of whether they will be extending the deadline in terms of evacuations past that 31st of August, no decision to change as
of yet. Well, Nick Paton Walsh has first-hand experience of the pressures that we've had John Kirby; they'll talk that in around Kabul airport and
the ongoing evacuation efforts.
And he joins me now he just went from Kabul to Doha. Nick, let me get your insight first, from what you heard from the Pentagon there. What stood out
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: And that they really don't seem to have a handle on this at this stage. A lot of projection of
confidence, but one key fact stood out, they're planning an operation to first of all get American citizens out of Afghanistan, but they don't know
how many American citizens are in Afghanistan.
This is essentially an open ended operation at one point; they are going to have to declare that they don't think they have anybody essentially left
behind there that starts with --. A couple of things to just do really jive with what we've perceived watching the airport from inside it.
And over open source monitoring, he referred to how commercial aircraft were landing there. And that was an option out and we're not aware of any
such aircraft landing.
It was also suggested that the reports of low passing aircraft will knock U.S. aircraft that may be the case. But I should just reiterate.
When I stood there on Tuesday, there were two very low flights of military jets over that airport, which Mr. Kirby went on to say was simply nothing
to do with the United States, possibly it was an ally.
So a lot of things in there, which gave me, pause for thought a lot of numbers directed towards the audience to suggest a fast improving program
there, the number five to 9000. But then a very clear recognition that words like we are poised to see an increase.
And he doesn't want to give the sense that that is actually happening just yet. The notion that they can open up an aperture, in another gig, I'm
quoting him there, a lot of ambition there and hope for what might happen in the coming days.
But at the same time, the scenes outside of the airport are quite startling. And so I am known as having listened to that, it seems as though
the Pentagon's operation here is very much about optimistic numbers, pushing away notions that things aren't quite going the speed they would
But at the bottom of it, if you don't know how many people are taking out of the country, as American citizens, how can you effectively plan an
operation of certain duration? I was startled by that.
SOARES: Yes, that really stood out to me how many U.S. citizens on the ground; he didn't know that he then blamed the manifest. He said only 300
Americans also left in the last in the last 24 hours or so.
But also this idea that you can take between they have capacity Nick between five and 9000 people to be evacuated. But they're not meeting that
clearly not meeting those numbers, any 2000 loss 24 hours, but couldn't really answer the question as to why you've been there using with your very
Why is it so difficult to get past those checkpoints? Is it the processing? Is it getting to the airport? What are the Taliban asking from people? What
are they demanding to see before they get to the airport base?
WALSH: Yes, I mean, one thing John Kirby said was that the Taliban know what the U.S. is doing. And they are paraphrasing here, but essentially
cooperating with it. Now, that's just not right, that there is a clear Taliban impediment for people to get to the airport.
Clarissa saw it. Just yesterday, I saw it as early as Monday they are in the street, hitting people with sticks to keep them back. That's just been
what they've been doing.
Now initially, that seemed possibly as though they were trying to reduce the crowd numbers on the runways in the civilian part of the airport, there
was utter chaos. But now there seems to be a slightly more aggressive bid to simply keep those trying to flee away from the airport.
The real problem, though against that are accepting people is there's too many of them. As soon as word gets out, and he mentioned there that there's
a new gate, people will be hearing that.
And in Kabul desperately trying to work out which one it is, or whether it's one that was open a few days ago that they're just announcing now, so
massive effort being done by those trying to get on the airport as to how they can do it. That translates into dozens, hundreds of people.
I was in the crush of hundreds of people trying to get up to one of these entry doors. And it was, to some degree terrifying certainly for those
people who are not as tall as me because they're literally finding hundreds behind them trying to get closer.
And that's the problem because you simply cannot let one person out of that crowd over the fence because everybody will try exactly the same route. And
then you have otter pandemonium. So while he was pushed on the notion of whether gates had remained open and didn't really give a particularly clear
answer on that.
WALSH: I can tell you for a fact, they have to shut these things down because there are too many people out there. And frankly, it's terrifying
for those inside and outside, too, as to how that sort of filtration can even happen.
SOARES: Yes, Nick Paton Walsh there. Thanks very much, Nick. Great to see you, Nick, with that firsthand account of - was like to get into that
airport base. Now he's in thanks, Nick.
Well, joining me now is Roya Rahmani. She was Afghanistan's Ambassador to the U.S. for three years and just stepped down last month. Roya, thanks
very much for joining us. I'm not sure whether you were able to hear John Kirby, the Press Secretary speaking from the Pentagon.
But he said that they have the capacity between five to 9000 people to be evacuated in the last 24 hours have only been able to evacuate 2000 people.
Clearly many challenges, but as you watch these images that we have seen on the ground of just desperation and frustration, what do you think?
ROYA RAHMANI, FORMER AFGHAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: Well, the situation is extremely devastating. Of course, the fact that so many people are rushing
the way they are in the airport is a clear indication of how confident they are about their future and lives in Afghanistan.
As you were reporting, I am getting direct contact and information from the ground as to what is happening at the airport, as I myself have family
And the situation is that all the SIV applicants all the P2 visa applicants, all the people who have been applying or have connections to
any other countries and embassies have been somehow told to make their way to the airport and wait there.
Plus, so many other people who have no papers whatsoever, have just crowded around the airport trying their luck so there is thousands of people
gathering around that and making get impossible for people who even get calls to be evacuated to make it to the airport.
This is a devastating situation. Today, I received videos that they are firing at them; they are shooting at them, although they were firing to the
am shooting to the air. But then usually these bullets turn around and kill people. And it has happened before. So the situation is really devastating.
SOARES: Yes. And while you're on that point, you said, I know you've still got family on the ground there clearly people trying to escape, try their
luck without the paperwork as you stated there, and others who do have the right paperwork.
What are you hearing terms of those who get to just you know, to the perimeter of the airport that have the correct paperwork? Why aren't they
being allowed in? What is the Taliban demanding from them in order for them to pass?
RAHMANI: A lot of people are just not making it there getting through the crowds. Once I haven't spoken to people who haven't who have tried. Well,
the cover airport, of course has two sections, there's the military and the civilian one.
At the military side, it's all it's becoming almost impossible to get to where you are. And even for people and the families and members that I knew
that that made it to that section; they have been waiting for days there because there is a mess up with the list.
There is a mess up in terms of who is on and who is not there is shuffling. It's a huge chaos. I think it could be managed if some of the troops
deployed just was clearing people out and giving some sort of scheduling for them to come forward.
And instead of calling everyone to the airport to bring some - to make it easy for them and for the people who are about to get out to make that
SOARES: Clearer communication, it clearly is needed it because it's so chaotic. As you said Roya. We have heard from President Biden Roya, who
said that this was inevitable. He doesn't see it in his eyes as a failure. Do you think the U.S. Administration failed here?
RAHMANI: I think the entire international community plus Afghanistan, the African nation failed because of lack of leadership in Afghanistan and lack
of consistency in international planning. I think it could have been done differently.
And at least we wouldn't we shouldn't have been in the situation that we are right now. But there is of course a clear failure and I am a person who
I would like to take the responsibility.
RAHMANI: And I think we are bearing a great deal of responsibility of how things are as Afghans and particularly the Afghanistan's leadership.
SOARES: And Roya, you are our viewers would know that you probably would know this, but you're the first Ambassador Former Afghanistan to the United
States. Who is the woman? What is the future for women there in Afghanistan?
RAHMANI: Women are the ones that are going to lose the most. They are very fearful, very scared. It is not even prior to the Taliban explaining their
rules and restrictions based on the experience that people have had 20 years ago.
People are already abiding by that kind of rule, views wiping pictures of women of the streets. Women are not daring to come out of their houses. So
it is kind of already descending that kind of treatment, swimming without them even.
And they have even announced that they are respecting women's rights, but with a caveat saying within the Sharia law, which is very questionable for
Afghan people who believe that they have been always abiding by Sharia law.
SOARES: Roya, I appreciate thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us. And I do hope that your family and, your loved ones, are safe.
SOARES: We'll have much more news after very short break.
SOARES: Now the area around the Kabul Airport is crowded and chaotic once again, take a look. You heard the gunfire there which has really been
happening on and off the past few days. The Taliban are blocking almost all Afghan citizens who are trying to leave the country from entering the
Reuters reports at least 12 people have been killed in and around the airport since the Taliban took control of the capital on Sunday. It cites a
Taliban official who says the deaths were caused either by stampedes or by gun shops in the area.
Well, my next guest tweeted this on a quote here, "A staggering 550,000 Afghans have fled their home since the start of this year. Now is the time
to scale up humanitarian operations. But the Taliban must give a safe, timely, principled and unimpeded access to all communities in need".
Jan Egeland is the Chief of the Norwegian Refugee Council and he joins me now live from Skype via Skype from Oslo. Jan, great to have you on the
show, let me start on the images that you have seen of you as a scene these incredibly heartbreaking and desperate scenes in and around Kabul airport,
as people try to escape the Taliban.
SOARES: Give me a sense of Jan what you're hearing from your contacts and your teams on the ground?
JAN EGELAND, SECURITY GENERAL, NORWEIGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: Well, indeed, it's desperate around the airport; my organizations have tried to get
people out. And in, by the way, also through the airport, it's been impossible because of the stampede.
But it's - but Afghanistan is so much more than this airport that gets all the attention. Around Afghanistan, there are millions now that are fearful
of the future, but whom we can also help. They - there are areas where - which now has some piece that was in cross fire until recently, we have a
potential we need to scale up. We cannot leave women and children behind, and then go out the door.
SOARES: I'm so glad you brought that up. Because of course, the reality is that this unfortunately, could become a growing humanitarian crisis. Those
escaping as you said, Jan, only make up a small percentage of Afghans the rest, of course, need to face the fear and the mayhem on the ground. What
is your biggest concern right now?
EGELAND: Well, it's the perfect storm, really. I'm fearful of the climate change when the droughts and the natural disasters, I'm fearful of the
COVID pandemic that is ravaging our societies.
And I am fearful of the 20, 40 years of uninterrupted conflict that has produced millions and millions of displaced, including millions of refugees
in the neighboring countries, and then potentially a societal collapse, as you know, teachers and nurses and municipal workers, will they get a salary
now? Will be the state structures, it can continue to function or not. The jury's out on that. But we are parties to this; we need to help this
population in this country.
SOARES: You need - you said, we need to help you said that, you know, I suspect your teams on the ground will continue to stay there continue to
offer humanitarian support. Will you be protected? Do you have your teams have freedom of movement?
EGELAND: We have 1600 humanitarian workers on the ground 99.2 percent of that is Afghan male and female staff, courageous, able committed. I had an
all staff meeting last Sunday when the big collapse happened to assure my Afghan colleagues were there to stay.
We want to be a good employer. We want to enable that they can help that fellow Afghan citizens that will be a career in in the Norwegian Refugee
Council. And I think that's a message all of us should have to Afghanistan. We're not turning our backs to this ancient civilization that has suffered
And the knock on the door that we've had in province after province, by the new rulers, the Taliban is that when we've seen your work, we know you're
independent, neutral and impartial. Continue your work we will enable that. We'll see - this it remains to be seen how much freedom movement we will
have, we hope full freedom of movement.
SOARES: So you are speaking to the Taliban Jan. They are giving you -
EGELAND: Yes, they're.
SOARES: --some freedom of movement outside of Kabul to more rural areas.
EGELAND: Well, in all of these provinces that they took over, they have given us assurances and where our - have started operate in many of them.
And listen, we work in Taliban areas for years now. They haven't been trolled the countryside for a very long time. And we have been able to
undertake our work basically uninterrupted in those areas.
SOARES: I was just want to ask my producer if she can bring up a graphic that we have here of the current resettle implants for refugees, because
you were talking right at the top of our interview Jan about what the international community can do?
As you're looking through this United States in terms of the current resettlement patterns 30,000 refugees United Kingdom 20,000 Uganda 2000
Costa Rica 48 is this enough? Is the international community are they doing enough?
EGELAND: But I don't know if you have on the graphics, Iran and Pakistan that has like 90 percent of all Afghans who have left their country.
EGELAND: They need support to provide for the millions who are there many more males have come across the borders. What we're appealing for is that
the NATO countries and all of those others, who were there, really take care of the people that worked with them that serviced them and took risks
And then of course, they will also have to give quotas for other refugees that we cannot provide for in the area. But for us, I mean, the Norwegian
Refugee Council, we help 750,000 internally displaced in Afghanistan. We help tens of thousands of Afghans in Iran, when they're to stay and deliver
in the in the neighborhood and most Afghans do not want to leave. They would have helped where they are.
SOARES: Jon Egeland, thank you very much for taking time to speak to us do keep us posted.
EGELAND: Thank you.
SOARES: There will be challenges ahead. We'd love to hear from you, Jon Egeland for us in Norway. I want to bring you up to date on that suspicious
vehicle and monitoring I've told you about in the last hour. U.S. Capitol Police have now evacuated the Supreme Court and several others nearby
government buildings, while negotiators talk to a man who claims he has an explosive device in his truck.
It's parked near the US Capitol. The FBI is responding. You look at images from Washington D.C. Now one of the evacuated buildings has offices for
members of the U.S. House, that the House and Senate are not in session so most lawmakers are currently not in their offices. Of course, we'll keep on
top of this developing story as soon as we have more developments. Of course, we shall bring it to you.
Now anger and shame over how the UK's handling its exit out of Afghanistan, we'll talk with someone who commanded British troops in the country about
the chaotic evacuation. That's next you are watching CNN.
SOARES: Now at home and abroad the U.S. and the UK are facing growing criticism over their chaotic exit from Afghanistan. For U.S. President Joe
Biden British Prime Minister Boris Johnson rebuke is coming from many sides including from politicians, British lawmakers put it as a fate a failure of
leadership intelligence as well as moral duty. Here's what Former MP Rory Stewart told me in the last hour take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RORY STEWART, FORMER BRITISH SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Particularly the U.S. and UK presence in Afghanistan was very
small, very light and very sustainable. We've not been taken casualties recently. But we were providing the keystone that was holding the whole
arch of Afghanistan together. And in a single moment we removed effectively the entire Afghan Air Force and the contractors that maintained it.
And by doing so, the Afghan army that was fighting very, very briefly up until the moment and that the U.S. troops and the other NATO troops pulled
out collapsed overnight and we've handed the country to the Taliban.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, my next guest Major General Charlie Herbert wrote in a recent op-ed, and I'm quoting him here, by abandoning Afghanistan in such chaotic
haste, the U.S. and European governments have squandered their precious legacy. Their bravery and bloodshed has been turned to dust in just a few
short days. How shameful how unforgiveable? I barely had the worst to describe how enraged I am.
Major General Charlie Herbert was a Senior NATO Advisor to the Afghan Interior Ministry. He joins me now from Mogadishu, Somalia, via Skype
Charlie, great to have you on the show. I'd read and you can correct me if I'm wrong, that you undertook three tours of Afghanistan who have seen
soldiers under your command maimed and killed. Give me a sense as we look at what's unfolding in Afghanistan right now, how you're feeling.
MAJOR GENERAL CHARLIE HERBERT, FORMER SENIOR NATO ADVISOR TO THE AFGHAN INTERIOR MINISTRY: Well, I mean you can imagine my feeling varies between
deep anger like Rory Stewart, and many others, but also, you know, tears and sadness, of a betrayal of our Afghan friends and partners.
It's absolutely tragic what has happened. I don't think now is the time to kick through the carcass of this defeat, you know, that will happen. Right
now we need to look at the next few hours, the next few days, or the next week, at trying to rescue trying to salvage something from this, to bring
out all of those Afghans who for their support behind us.
And those people who worked for us as interpreters, that is local staff, with nongovernmental organizations, civil society groups, and women groups,
all of those whose lives are now threatened by the Taliban. And can I just sort of say, I'm filled with admiration, however, chaotic scenes now
I am absolutely filled with admiration for our servicemen and women, from the United States from the United Kingdom, who were doing the most
extraordinarily challenging job in a really complex environment. I really do not underestimate how difficult this is for them right now.
SOARES: And you as you look at these images around Kabul Airport, of people, you know, trying to get through trying to escape the Taliban, you
know, how - what do you see? What do you envisage in the next two weeks, three weeks when once western median get out?
HERBERT: I mean we don't know how long we're going to have the consent of the Taliban. So we don't know how long we're going to be there. We are
entirely operating with the consent of the Taliban. I mean, I'm speaking with dozens of interpreters, dozens every single day; we want a little
We're trying to develop our situational awareness of where they are in the city? How they are issuing them with instructions step to stay down there
to shelter in place until they're called for the evacuation. Now they are able to move across the city in a relatively light Taliban footprint in the
city is our understanding.
But they've got to navigate their way through Taliban checkpoints. By and large, they're able to do that normal ways. Sometimes they get beaten,
sometimes they get sent back. The real issue at the moment is the sheer scale of the crowds that are trying to get into the airport into these
And you may well have seen some of these you know, awfully, awfully chaotic scenes. I mean, it's heartbreaking. I speak to an interpreter who took 16
hours yesterday to get him and his family into an evacuation holding center. I was talking to one literally before I came online; he's been
there for 24 hours now trying to get in.
I mean, we're talking - some of them have pregnant wives and young children. And unless this logjam can be sorted out, my worry is we're not
going to be able to lift out these vulnerable people. These entitled vulnerable people in the time that is left available to us, but we must do.
SOARES: And, and I know that, you know, you lost soldiers in Afghanistan. I don't know if you've been speaking to their families where they're telling
you and critically, you know, what does this do tally to that to their legacy?
HERBERT: I mean, it's really difficult and you know when the decision was taken to withdraw, to pull the rug out from under the feet of our Afghan -
I think what we do is betray three groups of people. We betrayed all these servicemen and women who served over there in case to the United Kingdom
150,000 servicemen and women and over 450, who sacrificed their lives.
I feel that their legacy was betrayed by the decision to withdraw without an inclusive political settlement and what has happened kind of foods out.
I think we also betrayed our Afghan partners, you know, those people we pledged to stick beside whether it's government or Afghan security forces.
You know, but my real why at the moment of next week is we're going to betray, you know, all those sided whether it's interpreters or local staff,
and we will thoroughly betray them, and ashamed really be honest, if we abandon them to their fate, and I don't subscribe to this view but the
Taliban and moderate.
HERBERT: There's absolutely no evidence of that they're craving international recognition. You know they're playing the nice guy at the
moment. But we know we hear what's going on underneath the radar? And the moment the international journalists are out, the moment the international
troops are out, you know, that's when the bloodletting and the retribution will start.
SOARES: Of course, we talk about, unfortunately, those who have escaped, but they are, as Jan Egeland was telling me a short while ago, there are a
small percentage the rest have to live with the Taliban. What happens then?
HERBERT: I mean, my heart bleeds, you know, for 20 years, now, we've been giving women a chance in education, equal opportunities, democracy, and all
of that is just pulled from under their feet in a single week all of that goes.
What are we going to see? Well, we're already seeing, you know the largest internal displacements inside Kabul in 20 years, significantly, the
largest. You know, what we are definitely going to see is not just external displacement. We're going to see refugees fleeing from Afghanistan in very
You know, what are we going to have to do? I mean, exactly again, as Rory Stewart has said, we're going to have to handle this as a humanitarian
crisis. And it is great that many of our countries are now offering to open up their borders to give these people a new opportunity in the West. We're
going to have to do that we owe it to them.
SOARES: Major General Charlie Herbert was a Senior NATO Adviser to the Afghan Interior Ministry. Thanks very much Major, really appreciate it.
Now, just ahead as U.S. evacuates Afghan citizens Haitians in this earthquake ravaged town, so they have yet to see any help from the outside,
we'll take you to that next.
SOARES: Unite in order to rebuild that's what Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry is urging this as the official death toll from Saturday's earthquake
climbs to nearly 2200. Mr. Henry underscored his government's efforts to help affected areas and now the race to deliver supplies is on. Here you
see people carrying supplies across a bridge because it isn't safe for larger trucks.
Well, it's been a one two punch really for Haiti. Saturday's earthquake cause widespread devastation, and then a tropical storm left many in
isolated areas even more cut off. As Matt Rivers now reports many survivors are being forced to fend for themselves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Driving into rural Haiti is not easy. Miles and miles of tough unpaved roads but it's at the end of
those roads where some of the worst damage from this earthquake lies. This is - a fishing town of 30,000 where hundreds of structures have been
destroyed. Kealan Rashard (ph) lost everything when the ground shows.
I lost my business and my home she says, I have six kids to send to school and I don't know what I'm going to do. - was just the first home we saw up
the street we couldn't drive past this home because like so many others here what remains could collapse at any moment.
RIVERS (on camera): So these guys behind me aren't professionals. They're just locals with hammer wood and nails trying to figure out a safe way to
bring that severely damaged building behind me down to the ground. They told us in the nearly five days since this earthquake happened they still
have not had one representative from the central government show up.
RIVERS (voice over): It's a tough place to get to. But as some pointed out to us, we managed to do it. So why hasn't the government? Anger a
persistent sentiment for many. This man's family was injured when their home collapsed?
RIVERS (on camera): Do you think that the government can come here and help you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think so. I don't think so. I don't think so.
RIVERS (on camera): So you're not waiting for them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
RIVERS (on camera): And Are you frustrated with that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, very frustrated. I'm very frustrated.
RIVERS (voice over): Some blame corruption and a lack of will for government inaction. There's also the recent assassination of Haiti's
President gang violence, and a lack of quality infrastructure possibly at fault.
This bridge in the City of Jeremie in rough shape before the earthquake, now so damaged that, heavy trucks like these loaded down with aid cannot
cross supplies, sometimes hand carried. No matter the reason the reality persists, people in need are growing increasingly desperate.
I need help, she says and no one is helping me. So far it's only God who I think will help me. The place where she might pray for that the church in
the town center also destroyed. Thankfully, fewer people died during this earthquake compared to previous similar quakes. Imagine as one person told
us if it had happened on a Sunday morning when church was full.
RIVERS (on camera): And we did reach out to Haiti central government asking have you sent representatives to cry to see the hundreds of structures that
have been destroyed? What are you planning on doing to try and make the lives of people affected by this earthquake better? They did not respond to
a request for comment Matt rivers, CNN, Jeremie Haiti.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And that does it for me for this hour. Thanks very much for joining us. "One World" with Larry Madowo is next. I'll be back with you in roughly
in two hours-time. I'll see you then. Bye, bye!
LARRY MADOWO, CNN HOST: Hello I'm Larry Madowo live at CNN Headquarters in Atlanta and this is "One World".