On Wednesday, Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary, made a statement that the U.S. does not currently have the ability to evacuate a large number of people.
“Quite frankly, it’s obvious we’re not close to where we want to be in terms of getting the numbers through,” said Lloyd Austin. “As I stated earlier, we’re gonna push more military assistance down to the entry points to facilitate these efforts, but we’re really working hard to get as many people through as possible.” He reiterated that they will be working around the clock or until capability runs out to get more people evacuated (Daily Caller).
Earlier this week, shocking footage was released of the Taliban marching in and taking over the Afghanistan capital of Kabul. Nationwide, many Americans have called for the United States to help evacuate as many as possible. The Taliban takeover came just days after the withdrawal of American troops from the area, where they have had a strong presence over the last twenty years.
The Taliban have been rapidly advancing throughout Afghanistan in recent weeks, taking over multiple major cities. According to VOA News, the capital of the eastern province, the capital of the northern Balkh province were both captured Saturday, August 14, as biden ordered 4,000 troops to help with U.S. personnel and ally evacuations.
The next day, the Taliban reached the capital city of Kabul, took over the city of Jalalabad, took control of an airfield, and freed 5,000 high-value Taliban inmates being held at Parwan prison. That same day, both the Afghan President fled the country and the United states evacuated it’s Kabul embassy staff. By Monday, thousands of Afghani citizens were trying to evacuate the country, some even trying to hold onto the sides of departing planes.
The Pentagon said in a statement this week that they are unsure about how many Americans remain in Afghanistan but said the number could be as high as ten thousand (Forbes). The United States has been airlifting Americans and some allies out of Kabul, but they are not able to move as many people as they would like to.