tv Washington Journal Laura Seligman CSPAN July 11, 2021 7:51pm-8:01pm EDT
she writes she started her coverage on hover gate, the scandal in which agents brought prostitutes to their hotel rooms while making arrangements for president obama to visit columbia. we talked with her about her in-depth look in her new book subtitled the rise and fall of the secret service. >> on this episode of book notes plus. listen on c-span.org or wherever you get podcasts. ♪ joining is now is laura from politico. she serves as the defense reporter. thank you for joining us. guest: thank you for having me. host: a story of yours takes a look at the efforts going out of afghanistan. you make the case that this was pre-much already completed even before yesterday's announcement. can you give us context? guest: scheuer, one of the news
items from the president's speech was that he moved up the deadline. previously it was september 11. now it's august 31. but my sources are telling me that the drawdown is effectively done. we currently have just 600 troops in afghanistan. just about all of them were always expected to stay past the official withdrawal date to provide security at the u.s. embassy in kabul and at the kabul international airport. the only personnel left to withdrawal is general scott miller, and a handful of his staff. there is a handful more of security and logistics forces that the pentagon sent in temporarily to aid in the withdrawal. they will also depart. but out of the 2500 or so that president biden started out with, all but a handful are gone. host: when it comes to the decision, did the tell leaders
at the pentagon support this position? guest: in the beginning of present biden's term, when it was not clear if he was going to pull out of afghanistan are not come i think that top generals saw them disagree with the logic behind withdrawing troops. i think we saw the market that there was a lot of evidence that the country will now collapse and the afghan security forces are not strong enough to hold off the out -- the taliban. so they wanted to keep a couple thousand special operators to keep fighting terrorists as well as some military trainers to help the afghan secure forces. but now that the president's decision has been made, to come as no surprise to anyone, least of all the generals, that this was ultimately the general he was going to make. i think the generals have gotten on board and said ok mr. president, we are in eerie let's get this done quickly. -- we are in. let's get this done quickly.
host: we have several maps of areas under taliban control. as far as the president's decision, especially making this decision is it's going on in the country, how did he account? guest: you are right. the taliban has been making huge gains in the past 18 months since president trump's agreement. and has intensified. the taliban has gained 10% of the country, making -- they now control 180 of the 407 districts. these gains are primarily in the north and in critical areas. what we are seeing is the afghan security forces surrendering without a fight. thousands of soldiers are fleeing to nearby to giga stan -- to a nearby country to get away from the taliban.
this is not a situation -- this is not to turn present bidens plan to withdraw. by my estimates, if kabul falls, that might be six months to a year away if it happens at all, it really depends on the afghan security forces. if that happens, the u.s. response will be very limited. president biden has been clear that he wants to get out of afghanistan. host: even as you say that. you and others have heard him say he was confident going forward to tackle anything that might happen. that the u.s. is adapting to the situations. can you elaborate what the plan is, or what the design is considering the state of the country? guest: after the americans leave, the plan is to conduct what they call over the horizon operations. to continue keeping an eye on the taliban and hunting terrorists from outside of afghanistan. currently that plan is to
conduct these operations from as far away as the middle east, qatar. that's a nine hour from afghanistan. to some experts, this is not feasible. especially with unmanned aircraft that have to be refueled multiple times along the way. so there is an attempt to base u.s. troops in a nearby country like uzbekistan to more easily conducted these operations. but it's not clear yet whether that will come to fruition. right now [indiscernible] host: there were stories coming out in light of this, saying that the afghan government and officials salves, particularly at -- officials themselves said [indiscernible] could you tell us what happened when it comes to the amount of information afghan government
received? guest: there were stories that the afghan leaders had no warning that the u.s. was going to depart. that the u.s. military leaders left in the mill of the night with no warning. they turned off the water and the electricity. and the commander who took over the base did not even check out until two hours after. they said we told the afghans everything they needed to know 48 hours ahead of time. they left at the exact moment which americans departed. see could see why they would be a love set -- a little upset about this. the pentagon said this was for operational security reasons. host: he could see laura's
latest story on politico. she covers the defense side of issues for >> monday morning, a preview of the week ahead at the white house with reporter daniel lippmann. also, he discussion on critical race theory bryn mawr college assistant professor chanel wilson and american enterprise institute fellow ian rope. lezz thatcher on big pharma political donations in campaign 2020. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern monday morning and be sure to join the discussion with phone calls, facebook comments and tweets.
the secret service was founded in the aftermath of the assassination of lincoln. in the prologue of a new book, zero fail, she writes that she started on a scandal in which agents brought prostitutes to their heritage -- to their hotel rooms. we spoke with her about her in-depth look in her new book, subtitled, the rise and fall of the secret service. >> you can listen on suspenct.org/podcast -- c-span.org/podcast. c-span shop.org is our online
store. there is a collection of c-span products. browse to see what is new. you still have time to order the congressional directory, contact information for members of congress and the biden administration. go to c-span. shop.org. >> president roosevelt was called you a chronic liar. a late tennessee senator called you a liar