tv America Reports With John Roberts Sandra Smith FOX News August 13, 2021 10:00am-12:00pm PDT
old. a korean war veteran. a former new york city police sergeant. a hero in blue and served overseas. happy birthday william valentine. >> thanks for watching "outnumbered." "america reports" next. >> new developments in the killing of a chicago police officers ella french last week. one suspect out of jail even after violating his probation in a robbery case month earlier. why critics blame progressive policies. martha maccallum will join us. >> and we will hear from a new york congressman on health officials agreeing that covid could have come inside a lab in wuhan in china. why it might be too early for
britney spears and joey jones on the dramatic developments happening by the minute in afghanistan. >> sandra: that's where we begin this hour on "america reports." the dire situation in afghanistan out of control as new reporting from our pentagon team suggests the country's capitol kabul could next to fall. the biden administration is sending thousands of troops back in just a couple of weeks before the president's deadline for our troops to be gone. i am sandra smith on a busy friday afternoon. this is "america reports." welcome trace. >> i am trace gallagher in for john roberts. first of 3 infantry battalions is en route to kabul.
a u.s. defense official told fox news kabul could fall as soon as tomorrow. the pentagon works to evacuate embassy staff. they are asking the taliban not to attack the embassy. >> sandra: they captured afghanistan's second and third largest cities. it is estimated that the taliban controls two-thirds of that country as president biden planned a departure for all u.s. forces by the end of the month. >> trace: a lot of red. joey jones served in afghanistan and will join us in a in a moment. lucas is live at the pentagon. >> u.s. military is planning for the evacuation of kabul as the state department orders the
closure of the u.s. embassy. >> this is a temerary mission with a narrow focus. our commanders have the right of self-defense. any attack on them will be met with a forceful and appropriate response. a total of 8,000 u.s. troops are deploying to afghanistan and the middle easted. 3,000 going to kabul and. . 1,000 troops also going in. the taliban seized more than half of afghanistan's 34 capitols. the u.s. spent over 85 billion dollars to build an afghan army. they have crumbled. president biden overruled his general managers. the pentagon is not calling this
a combat deployment. >> this is a narrowly focussed mission of safe guarding civilian personnel out of afghanistan. >> the marines are going to kabul and this is not combat. >> lucas, they will have the ability to defend themselves. >> the u.s. military officers are demoralized watching afghanistan melt away. others want to pull all americans out and level the embassy. >> trace: thank you. >> sandra: joey jones. purple heart recipient. went to iraq in 2007 and 2008 and was sent to afghanistan in march of 2010. welcome. your thoughts on this moment? did you see this coming? >> yes, we saw it coming in the
sense that as soon as president biden went down this path, we knew and i think -- if we knew, boots on the ground, knew that the afghan army had no chance to finish this fight, then why didn't the president tell the country a few weeks ago. why did he scoff at the assumption they would take over this country. i care about what happens there. sadly, there are more than them from than what we brought home to put in algorithm. -- arlington. this was a bloody war. how could one president have such a bad understanding of the dynamics he promised the country
this could not happen and weeks later it's happening. what went wrong? we are speechless at how badly this administration has done. >> sandra: what went wrong? there was an agreement it was time to take the troops out. >> i will be honest. i waivered on this a bit. sometimes it made sense. get our troops out. my sentiment has been make a clear objective or get the troops out. having us there so every mid-terms election we can send 10,000 more there that doesn't cut it. we allowed the politicians to move the goal posts.
we let them do that. this is the problem of afghanistan. not a lot of people talk about this. when we were most successful if the provinces, there were 3 leaders in every area. there was the afghan government leader not from that area and was there from corruption and had no respect. a tonal shadow leader like the mafia and the culture leader from that area.aliban shadow lee mafia and the culture leader from that area. we put that person out front. this is reason about what trump was about to do. the dinners there has been a conditioned strategy looked at a generational war saying what can we put out there that would allow the next generation of afghan to look at the taliban and say that's not my best
option? not that we kill enough the taliban. how can we give these people an opportunity? that was a good but lengthy strategy. the only politician honest about that is lindsey graham. he said for 5 years, why do we need to get everybody out of there? what frustrates me is that we as the american people treat 3,000 troops in afghanistan the same way we did 100,000 troops in afghanistan. the opportunity to not let this happen with 3 to 10,000 troops would not be a bad gamble if our government is honest and we understand that's the strategy. as american people we decide whether we want to accept that. we never had that opportunity. between mid-terms and elections we never gotten an honest message from our government. >> sandra: the cover of the "new york post" biden's saigon
calling it the debacle in afghanistan. is that fair? i would ask you what the morale is of the veterans you are in touch with? >> at this point i hope it's a good comparison want at least we have relations with vietnam. i don't know if afghanistan will ever be different if this is how we leave it. i am not saying we need to be at war there. you are the most powerful government in the world and in 20 years you could not figure this out. shame on you. i give my life and legs and you turn around as president and say it wasn't for anything. shame on you. you owe it to my brothers and sisters to have an objective there we can complete and make our country a safer place. that's not what we see. >> sandra: i have to leave it there. passionate response from the veterans. i told everybody all morning i
would talk to you about this. i appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> sandra: trace. >> trace: that was great insight. there are new developments in the investigation since the special was appointed to visiting why the trump russia probe first began. durham is presenting evidence to a grand jury and working on a lengthy report set to be complete in the coming months. sources saying durham is looking into people who provided information to fuel the russia probe. some lower level workers at the fbi fib. one of the key questions is whether the attorney general garland will allow durham to continue his probe beyond september. >> sandra: that's a big question. back to school. the season is kicking off across the country. parents are concerned how covid
restrictions could affect their children. local leaders are debating over mask mandates as more children are hospitalized with covid and the largest teacher's union supports mandatory vaccinations for teachers. jacqui heinrich is live from the white house and parents have so many questions. >> no kidding. president biden said in march he would use the full power of the federal government to get everystaff member in schools and child care worker vaccinated. fast forward to august. they are just figuring out their stance on vaccine mandates. the national education organization endorsed a vaccine or test mandate. the american federation of teachers did not go that far.
they said they need to be negotiated and not coerced. they believe that everyone should get vaccinated unless they have a medical or religious exemption. mandates outside of contract negotiations could result in more staff levels when staff levels are already low because of the trauma of last year. the teacher's union implied they share that thinking among their own colleagues. >> sandra: the fda authorized booster shots of pfizer and moderna coronavirus vaccine. who qualifies to get that third shot? >> adults with compromised immune systems because of a medical condition or because of a medical treatment they are receiving. the cdc said in a meeting this morning it would include people
being treated for tumors or blood cancer and stem cell transplants, hiv patients and chronic medical conditions like kidney disease. this only applies to adults which represents less than 3% of the u.s. population. there have been no studies so far of an additional dose in immunocompromised kids. >> no patients developed side-effects that required hospitalization. symptoms were consistent with the previous doses and they were mostly mild. >> data from the cdc today between 40 and 44% of the breakthrough infections among fully vaccinated that required
hospitalization was among the immunocompromised. >> sandra: jacqui heinrich, thank you. there is so much to take in. so much changes as far as guidance and availability when it comes to the vaccine and the virus. trace, this one stands out for the immunocompromised. now they can get that third shot. it will give them more protection. >> trace: you wonder when the johnson & johnson will be tossed into the mix and how all of this will further confuse people. what is next? fox news alert now. video of a brazen shooting in broad daylight just released as crime continues to rise in major cities across the country. what voters are saying as the crime creeps closer to where they live. >> sandra: concern growing over the number of migrants infected
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relax people, my wireless is crushing it. that's because you all have xfinity mobile with your internet. it's wireless so good, it keeps one upping itself. >> trace: america's crime crisis deepening. a gunman opening fire on a busy street in broad daylight. caught on cameras near harlem. he was shooting at a man trying to hide. the target was able to escape unhurt. fox news polls reveal the spike in violent crime is on voters mind. 81% say it has them very concerned and 57% of voters say they have seen more crime now than a year ago. up slightly just back in may with under 20% saying they see less crime. this is a problem going into
2022 for democrats. they came out and supporting defunding police. they supported the far left prosecutors who are resistant to prosecute crimes. >> sandra: you see this crime spike. you wonder what impact this will have on mid-terms elections. when you see that video in harlem you are reminded how important all of these street video cameras that are up. you get the firsthand look of what really played out. that's multiple cameras on the street there. for a high crime environment these cameras help tell the story. amazing. fox news exclusive on the border crisis. homeland security secretary mayorkas with officials in texas yesterday and admitted that current policies are not working
as apprehensions hit a 21 year high. >> [muffled audio]. >> these numbers cannot continue. >> sandra: jonathan hunt is in live in lajolla texas. >> he had little choice but to admit the reality of the situation when he was face-to-face with border patrol agents. this is what they are dealing with all day and all night. this group of migrants walked up to this processing center just a few minutes ago. there is a bus pulling up. they will be taken to a holding center. the agents are going through this every day. they are exhausted and frustrated. secretary mayorkas in that
leaked audio given to fox news acknowledged this is a very tough situation for them. listen to secretary mayorkas. >> [muffled audio]. >> the new border patrol chief ortiz who takes over this weekend told me he is fired up and ready to go. but he also admitted there needs to be policy changes. his agents need to be protected from the dangerous of covid. listen to the incoming chief here. >> i have almost 20,000 border
patrol agents and a lost 8 already this year to covid. >> 400 agents in quarantine and lost 8 this year to covid. that's an business concern. all of these migrants when they are brought here they are given masks to wear immediately. all of the agents and the migrants are in masks. they will be taken away to one of the holding center: >> sandra: thank you. >> trace: immigration hasn't been a top election issue but as more migrants testing positive for covid are let loose across the country can it force voters to realize this crisis is not just in border states. matt is a former communications
director and jose is a former dp press secretary. welcome both. i want to double down on jonathan's reporting and put the numbers on the screen. this is from this july to last july. the number of migrants encounters. very stunning. you first, jose, last week you had secretary mayorkas saying that the crisis at the border was the trump administration fault. now you have him caught on tape saying this situation at the border is unsustainable. this has been very hard for democrats to spin their way. your thoughts? >> well, there is no question this is a difficult situation. we have to admit that the fact that trump slashed economic resources to nicaragua has consequences. number 2, the pandemic as
a whole has shown that more migrants in 2021 want to come to the u.s. and get the vaccine. we have to be clear on the message we put toward. democrats and republicans and the biden administration, if you come to this country undocumented we won't let you in. that's why you see mayorkas trying to expedite the expelling. >> trace: but the problem is they being let in. 45% of those who cross into america are in america. they are staying in america. they are coming in and staying. i want to put this on the korean -- screen. this is biden's worst job performance: is this becoming a top election
issue for next year? >> you could see it become one and not just because of immigration. there is a broader weakness among the biden administration. the comparisons to jimmy carter get thrown around a lot. i thought about it this morning am there are a lot of similarities. a rise in crime. inflation. rise in gas prices. on the border and in afghanistan weakness invites confrontation. when they see problems, it's not a lack of solution or the wrong solution. it's the failure to even acknowledge the problem at all. >> trace: that's interesting. jose, a point you made earlier talking about the root causes and how president trump pulled money out of the countries. look at this poll. increasing funding to central america. and you see right there you have
only 38% in favor and 49% that do not. the question becomes, you know that these are programs when you flood money into these country, it gets to the people who need it, and to it will take years to have any effect at all. >> 100%. it's not an easy task. if it's done properly with transparency, it can be done. you agree with you 100%. it takes time. you have to do it. you have to put forth an educational campaign to teach people. you won't be able to just cross the border. there are mixed messages by the coyotes saying the united states has open borders. >> if you go to a doctor and you have lung cancer the treatment is not stop smoking. you find the problem and solve it right away.
that's what needs to happen here. >> trace: thank you. >> thanks. >> sandra: the world health organization scientist who led the investigation into the pandemic changing his tune on the lab leak theory. what he is now saying about how the first patient may have been actually infected. >> trace: waiting for a pentagon update on afghanistan and kabul. the briefing at the top of the hour. ahead can congress do anything to stop president biden from destabilizing the middle east with the u.s. withdrawing from afghanistan? we will ask a congressman straight ahead.
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was infected by a bat. we bring in a congressman. will congress visiting it new development as part of its probe into the source of this virus? >> i am sure you are going to see a continuation of the republican-led probes to dig into every lead we get. there is a responsibility on the part of the majority party to do the same. fortunately the efforts led by michael mccall in the house led to a lot of new developments and a better understanding of what took place. the short answer to your question is yes, absolutely. i don't have the answer for you as to whether or not nancy pelosi will make it a top priority. >> sandra: that's interesting. the former state department investigator we were talking with on this current probe said this hasn't been conducted as an investigation. here he is. >> this hasn't been conducted as
an investigation. it's been an intel project. an investigation would assume we have a crime scene and a crime was committed and a cover-up happened. >> sandra: how confident should we be seeing this major reversal on the part of the world health organization? how confident are you that the biden led investigation coming up at the end of the month will reveal anything at all or be conclusive in any way? >> at this point, not confident. just like my colleagues, we all should maintain an open mind. based off what have we learned so far. i am not confident. i know that the house effort michael mccall put together a detailed report and updates where we learned about the gain of function research that took place and the safety and security issues at the lab.
the timing with evidence of a lab leak around late august or early september of 2019. the scramble to cover-up between wuhan scientists and the requests for additional funding that took place at the lab and the military world gains that took place. you have people who go back to their countries around the world and they start the spread of the virus. that work is being done but unfortunately by one party and the house republican effort has been fantastic on it so far. >> sandra: i want to transition to afghanistan. you have seen the outpouring of responses including mike pompeo who warned last night about the consequences we might suffer in the homeland as a result of the taliban taking over control. the pentagon press secretary is saying this situation in afghanistan is deteriorating.
here he is. >> the military will still remain committed to helping protect the diplomatic presence in afghanistan. nobody is abandoning afghanistan. that's doing the right thing to protect our people. >> sandra: we are expected to get an update from the pentagon top of the hour. two o'clock eastern time. this is the united states sending 3,000 troops into the afghanistan embassy evacuation. are you concerned are you about the situation there? >> extremely concerned. very predictable. what we are witnessing unfold is a total collapse of the security situation. pending total collapse of the government there in afghanistan. this was very predictable. the united states gave away the leverage needed to withdraw in the right way. there is fatigue because we have
been in afghanistan so long. it's not there is not any right or wrong way to do things with regards to a withdrawal in the manner in which the biden administration has focussed this debate. we need to bring the secretary of state before congress to answer questions and bring generals and the chief of staff before the armed forces committee to answer questions. we have u.s. personnel on the ground. we need to protect their safety. we also have to be sympathetic to the sacrifice made over the past couple of decades. you have american families who are watching what took place. this has to be done correctly. the fatigue being there so long is shared by everybody. the way this is being done guarantees a total imminent
collapse to the terrorists. that bothers many people myself including. >> sandra: appreciate you joining us. an update from the pentagon top of the hour. thank you. >> trace: pain at the gump. --oo pome. the majority of american families are struggling about higher gas prices. texas governor greg abbott slamming the administration. >> sandra: and the daughter of casey caseem was not allowed access to her father. we won the legal battle and she will way in the development in britney spear's fight. one call can save you thousands every year. and it's easy. there's no money out of pocket and no upfront fees.
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a look outside of that base. a military base has been on lockdown. an armed person was spotted on that base. they posted an update to their facebook page saying this person was spotted on the south side of the base. anyone who encountered that person should run and hide. the facebook did say that the description of the individual is a black male with a medium build carrying a gucci bag with the headline lockdown. first call came in at 12:04 eastern time. that's the latest from there. this is the situation we will continue to monitor. we will bring you breaking news as it comes in. >> trace: thank you. a huge update on the fight to free britney spears after months of pressure from her supporters. her father is saying he will step aside to make room for a new conservator after 13 years of overseeing the pop star's
estate. with us now is the founder of a group dedicated to fighting elder abuse. the radio legend you see him there. thanks for coming on. i covered this story last night of the britney spears thing. the big take away was jamie saying he is willing to give up the conservator ship when the time is right. you know in the courts that could be any time. it could be months or years. what did you think about that? >> well, thanks for having me on about this very important subject. she is not 3. -- not free. social media is saying britney spears is free. if you read the paperwork, he said he would step down if the time is right and the judge says it's okay. he doesn't want to step down but
he would. to put that out there in the media that he is stepping down. and everybody celebrating was manipulation i think. >> trace: we don't know if it's fair to go after jamie spears. the lawyers put out the statement and said this is not legal and just. the next hearing on september 29th. do you see a resolution? do you see a judge saying you would accept down. let's get this moving along? >> i have been fighting conservatorships for 7 years. it's hard to get out of one. my hopes and prayers are the right thing is done and the judge excuses jamie from his position. it should have been done many, many years ago. of hundreds of people coming to me saying help my mom or dad or
my daughter. they are stuck in a conservatorship. we only got 2 out in 7 years. thank god for my lawyer. he didn't believe this was happening in america until he saw all of these people who need help am 13 years! britney spears has been in this for 13 years. . >> trace: she had public break down 13 years ago. jamie spears wrote this: in the public knew all of the addiction and mental health issues she's struggled with. . is there a possibility that
jamie spears has done the right thing by his daughter? >> i think he did the right thing in the beginning. i don't think putting someone in a guardianship. if somebody has a mental break down to take all of their rights away, do you think that's okay? no. what is needed is help. of course he helped her. i have no doubt he loves his daughter and the family loves their sister and their daughter. 13 years to take away somebody's rights because they had a mental break down. that's never okay. there needs to be guardianship reform. thousands are placed in these situations and need help now. >> trace: thanks for coming on. she makes a good point want 13 years. she had a public break down
britney spears but in 13 years she's gone on world tours. she has put out albanies and been on television and seems to be handling her career just fine. >> sandra: and a passionate person there speaking out on her behalf. interesting to hear that perspective. inflation hitting americans hard in the pocketbook. paying for more everything. democrats still pushing more massive spending even as new polls show inflation is a big concern for voters heading into 2022. charlie will join us. >> trace: and a suspect in the shooting death of a chicago police officer should have been behind bars at the time of her murder. martha maccallum on that coming up. one, two! one, two, three! only pay for what you need! with customized car insurance from liberty mutual! nothing rhymes with liberty mutual.
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infants but stays stable through adult life from 20 to 60. it's when you hit 60 the scientists say your metabolism declines. 60 subject the new 30. >> sandra: excuses no longer want 20 to 60. >> trace: i am trying to figure out why fly like an eagle was the in song? a fat eagle? i love it, though. >> sandra: folks across the country are struggle from this pandemic, they have to pay more to fill up their gas tanks. more than 60% of voters say the higher gas prices are causing hardships for their families. the average price of gas in the u.s. now up more than a dollar from a year ago.
casey is live from arlington, texas with more. >> yes, more than $3 on average. 2.85 here in texas for a gallon of unleaded regular. just a little bit under. but last year at this time texans paid $187. it's about a dollar higher now this week. the white house in an effort to ease pain at the pump called on opec to boost its overall oil output. the rise in prices is simply because more americans are traveling and the bad news is costs are expected to go even higher. a triple a survey show that gas has to be well over 3 dollars before drives change their plan.
>> texas governor greg abbott said white house texas can do this. we can produce that oil if you stay out of the way. no comment from the white house about that comment from greg abbott. >> sandra: thank you. >> trace: the situation in afghanistan worsening by the minute the pentagon will give an update. kabul could fall as soon as tomorrow. we will talk to a republican tennessee congressman about why we need an immediate plan from president biden. coming up the top of the hour.
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a brand new hour. pentagon officials are expected to give an update as taliban fighters close in on the afghanistan capitol. one official telling fox they are only 30 miles outside of kabul and the city could fall as soon as tomorrow. good afternoon. i am sandra smith in new york. >> trace: i am trace gallagher in for john roberts. the first u.s. troops sent back to afghanistan are on their way. setting the stage for an evacuation drawing comparisons to the fall of saigon. >> sandra: we bring in a republican congressman who served in afghanistan and iraq. a member of the armed forces committee. we will jump into that briefing when it begins. you will have to excuse me when we do that. your characterization of the developments and what is happening right now? what do you expect to happen tomorrow? >> well, thanks for having me on
the show. the characterization i would have for it is heart breaking. this is turning into a horror story. it is friday the 13th. it's a horror story for the afghan people and the biden administration. there are 2 failures they think are really important to highlight. how you do a withdrawal critical. we left bagram without even telling the afghan military. we just disappeared. they felt abandoned. that resulted in them -- they can't trust that america will be there for them. obviously they are not fighting. that failure. the way we have withdrawn is horrific. and the intelligence failure. the taliban a nationwide attack.
your intel guys failed to let us know the taliban's capability. these 2 failures have long-term ramifications for our country. >> trace: a quick question. joey jones talked to sandra and said we went to afghanistan in 2001 to kill the people who killed us. we decided it was to build a democrats to keep al-qaeda from reentering the country and now the door is wide open for al-qaeda. >> absolutely. it's a threat to the people in that region. that's not a good place for instability. you have pakistan and india with nukes. it's light there against china. a wad place for instability. it's tragic.bad place for insta.
it's tragic. if they believed america would stand behind them they would fight. >> sandra: the latest we are getting from the ground there. this just coming from the marines there. the first of 3 battalions are headed to kabul from the base in kuwait. they will land at kabul international airport. fierce fighting outside of kabul. it could be tomorrow. it could be a mong. what would the ramifications of that be? what you will have is a group of
terrorists. the taliban is a sadistic version of islam. they can abuse women. in the last 72 hours and this was yesterday, 27 children brutally murdered by the taliban in these attacks. they have no conscience. they are evil. they will control an entire state. it's insane. you look at the capacity in that country. heroin. opiates grown there. that's how they will make money. it's tragic. it's heart breaking. you lost friends there. it's hard to even talk about it. >> i would like your take. the administration is not surprised what is happening with
the taliban taking over this territory. i want to go back to july 8th. the president said this. >> the question now is where do they go from here. the jury is still out want the likelihood there will be the taliban overrunning everything and owning the country is unlikely. >> trace: the administration doesn't act surprised. how do you respond to that? what do you think the response should be? >> the president is basically saying what he believed to be the case a month ago. that's why i mentioned this is a huge intelligence failure. their inability to understand the capability of taliban to coordinate these attacks across the country is an intel failure. they will say this is what was expected because they got to put a spin on this.
the truth of the matter is if this surprised them, they were not expecting this. no one in congress was briefed this would happen. >> sandra: congressman more of the reporting from fox news. no plans to close the u.s. embassy in kabul the u.s. military is preparing for that order to be given. a former official recommended the following: i would pull every american out of afghanistan and level the u.s. embassy. would you based on what you know do the same? >> we have a lot of intelligence information in our embassies. absolutely. they need to get out of there very fast. >> trace: what about our allies
on the ground? i am curious. there is a deep level of concern for the interpreters who helped us years and years. a lot of those people are still there. we have compared this to the fall of saigon to lifting the helicopters coming out of saigon. those images were horrific. in a day or two days or three days, when the taliban is in full control of kabul and other cities, what then? happens to the human rights? who goes in and does anything for the people who helped us for all of those years? >> well, hopefully they can get all of those people out. i am sure they are collapsing into the perimeter around kabul. hope is not a method. i have been pushing the president for a plan on how to handle this contingesency.
we heard nothing from him. hopefully we will hear something in a few moments. no plan to date on how to do this. it has disintegrated before their highs. >> sandra: a head's up. we will confirm this. we are seeing reporting that the u.n. secretary general will make a statement on afghanistan at 2:30 p.m. eastern time. this is as the taliban continues to take more and more control. you look at the timing of this. this was predicted by so many. to withdraw all of these troops. are you surprised by speed this is happening? >> i am very surprised with the obvious capability of the taliban. a lot of people. this happened much faster. i predicted weeks. it looks like days. no one has been able to say it would go this fast.
it's been a surprise to all of us. >> sandra: we are waiting on a pentagon briefing. that was expected top of the hour. they are behind there. >> trace: here we go. >> a couple of thingsality the top here. i thought this would be helpful to give you a brief update about the military support to the state department in afghanistan. i should have said this
yesterday. you guys know that this is a planning organization. that's what we do here. planning for these sorts of contingenies is quite common. one of the reasons why we have been able to react as quickly as we did in the last day or so is because we had plenty of contingency planning in the works. a lot of it complete. we were and as i said many times from the podium watching the security situation on the ground. so, i can give you a brief update with a few additional details since yesterday. as i do that. you can understand i won't have every detail you might want. there is operational security that is still a concern.
we will observe that here as we have throughout the entire draw down process. u.s. forces in afghanistan continue to provide security at the kabul airport and embassy. these are the existing security elements that were already in kabul. that's attack and aviation and infantry and security personnel that are already there at the airport. they stay there. they are still doing their jobs in terms of internal security there at the airport. troop movements we mentioned yesterday are happening as we speak. 3 battalions are preparing to move from their current locations in the central command area of responsibility to kabul. they consist of a marine battalion that was pre-staged in the region and has support
capabilities. another marine infantry battalion from a marine unit. and a u.s. army infantry balks. -- battalion. some elements of one of the marine infantry battalions are already there this kabul. just the leading lment. they are there.element. they are there. i expect by the end of the weekend the bulk of the 3,000 we talked about yesterday will be in place. probably not all. but the bulk. from the united states, the brigade combat team that is prepared to go to kuwait is preparing to deploy. i do not have information that they are on the way right now. i suspect in short order they
will deploy and to arrive. movement of some of the neighbors we talked about yesterday designated to support the special vis processing has begun. this is a mix of medical personnel and military police. some electrical new jerseys. they are -- engineers. i do not have an inication they have actually left. they are not going into afghanistan. they will be sent into the region for use as needed. as far as aircraft are concerned to support the movement of civilian personnel. trans-comis working on plans with air force command and central command to support this mission. forces and support will be
assessed. we are working on that. we won't be able to give out a lot of details today, again the plans and sources for aircraft support and air lift are being worked out. we will have more to say about that when it's appropriate. i do want to stress that air lift will not be a limiting factor in this mission. air lift won't be a limiting factor. as i said yesterday, it's not all going to be military aircraft that are used. the airport is still open. commercial flights are going in and out. i don't want to convey the sense that every lift of every individual will be done on a grade military aircraft. though they will be made available to support. it's not a limiting factor. and something i said yesterday.
this is a specific tailored miss to help with the safe and secured movement of the reduction of civilian personnel in kabul as well as to help support the acceleration of the special immigrant visa process. as we get more information i will provide it with the understanding there will be operational security concerns. i can't provide every level of detail you want. we will be as transparent as we can. bob? >> you mentioned the bulge of the 3 battalions will be there by the end of the weekend. do you anticipate that the operation would begin that day? >> the operation has begun. the movement of forces to kabul has begun. that's the military side of it. i can't speak to the timing of the state department with
respect to their reduction. we wanted to make sure we were in full support of them and we were getting on station as quickly as possible. that's what we are focussed on. as for when departures will occur and how many on a daily basis that's my colleagues in the state department to speak to. >> a follow-up. given the events of the last 24 hours with 3 or 4 additional cities faling to the taliban and the taliban moving closer to kabul, how likely is it that you will be able to complete the draw down of forces by august 31st as opposed to staying to secure the embassy? >> we will watching the security situation day-by-day, bob. i can't speak for what that will look. in days to come.
the mission is to support the state department reduction in personnel by the end of the month. that's the timeline we are focussed on. if we need to adjust either way, left or right, we will do that. we will always look at the security conditions on the ground. >> with the air lift going on, are you planning to get hundreds of people getting out of the country, thousands? there were thousands of people at the u.s. embassy in kabul and 1800 interpreters looking to get out? >> i can't tell you how many on any given day. the capacity is not a problem. we will be able to move thousands per day. but that's just the air lift capacity. that didn't necessarily mean you will end up with that every day.
it will depend on the process and how that goes. we want to be able to get there fast and get from capable and provide as much capacity to the state department as we can. our intention is to move thousands per day. >> okay. separately, as we have seen the different capitols fall, is the department of defense surprised at how quickly the afghan national army collapse under taliban pressure? >> we are concerned by the speed with which the taliban has been moving. as we said from the very beginning, and it still is a moment for afghan national security and defense forces and
their political leadership. no outcome has to be inev vetible. we are watching this like you are watching this and seeing it happen in real time. it's deeply concerning. it's in fact, the deteriorating conditions are a factor in why the president has approved this mission to help support the reduction of personnel there in kabul. we are adjusting as best we can given those conditions. this is a moment for the afghans to unite. the leadership and the military. no outcome is inevitable here. >> in the taliban continue across and take kabul, what happens to the continued support you were planing to do for afghan national security forces or the fuel that was the dod was
commiting to send. at what point does that be cut off? >> we are still supporting the afghan security forces and the afghan government. that's what we will be focussed on doing. it would be easy to speculate about what the future of afghanistan looks like right now. we want to focus on what we are doing. we are working on support so we can't suffer a threat from afghanistan again. we are focussed on the security situation as we see it now. what we have to do, the missions we have been assigned by the commander-in-chief. i will let the political situation play out. that's not something we are overly focussed on right now. >> you were speaking about the
[inaudible]. obviously the u.s. has tried every day for the last 2 days and didn't stop the advances of the taliban. if you cannot stop the taliban like you are trying to do right now, how are you going to stop al-qaeda? >> so, over the horizon counter terrorism strikes and capabilities still exist and will exist going forward. we have never said that air strikes are a panacea. you said we were not able to stop the taliban. we said from the moment we started drawing down that we are going to continue to support them where and when feasible. it is not always feasible.
we never argued that our air strikes from the air were going to turn the tide on the ground. what we said is the afghans have the capability to do that and we still believe they can make a difference on the ground. we will do what we can from the air. but they have the advantage. they have air force and modern weapons. it's indigenous forces that can make the difference on the ground. our support of the afghans was done in that vein. afghan. there is not a scrap of the earth that the u.s. military can't hit if needed. if the threat is serious enough air strikes can be effective. >> [inaudible question]? >> i don't know.
i can take the question but i don't know. jeff? >> thank you very much for doing this. you said that the u.s. will continue to conduct the air strikes when it's feasible. how much will that lessen the availability of air strikes for afghan security forces? following up on what she asked. given that u.s. air strikes did not deter the taliban in other areas, how much concern is there that they won't be scared of u.s. air strikes in they decide to move on kabul and u.s. assets or personnel there? >> i won't speculate about moving on kabul. i never talked about future operations and i won't start
doing that today. jeff, your other question. the kinds of support that we are providing and able to provide afghan national security and defense forces in the field, those authorities still exist and those capabilities still exist. general mckenzie can use those capabilities to the degree he sees most fit. that's a distinct set of missions than what we have been ordered to do in terms of helping our state department colleague reducing their foot print in kabul. those are two different sets of authorities and capabilities. that's why i will leave it. >> you said a couple of times you are concerned with the speed with which the taliban has moved. the big question is not the concern about the speed but the surprise? i have too ask: is the military or the pentagon or the administration surprised
by how fast the taliban has been able to move through parts of the country? >> we saw the taliban making advances even before the biden administration came into office. we saw the taliban making advances at the district level before the president made his decision. >> i am saying now. this is a different ballgame in the last week. taking major cities like kandahar. >> we have been watching this from a very early period. right after the president gave us the order to draw down. we have been watching what the taliban is doing. we have noted with great concern the speed with which they have been moving and the lack of resistance they have faced. we have been nothing but honest about. >> what about the lack of resistance in kabul.
is there a concern the afghan military won't fight for kabul? >> that's a question for the afghan leadership to determine for themselves. as i said from the beginning, we want to see the will and the political leadership that is required in the field. we want to see that. we hope to see that. whether it pans out or not is for the afghans to decide. >> you said that afghanistan won't become a base to launch attacks against the u.s. home land. does the speed of the advance shake your confidence in that statement? >> no. >> thanks for doing this. are any additional air force aircraft heading to the middle east for this? could you speak to any of the rules of engagement troops on the ground will have? >> i have nothing to speak to with respect to additional air force assets.
i gave you the lay down what have we are sending to support this movement. that said i also said in my opening statement, there will be air lifts provided. there will be an air force role but in terms of combat aircraft i no of no such moves to do that. i won't speak about open engagement. we never do that from the podium. >> how would you describe the situation now? is kabul under a threat? is kabul isolateed? what is it? >> right now without getting into a battlefield assessment every day. i don't want to do that. kabul is not right now in an imminent threat environment.
but clearly, david, if you look at what the taliban has been doing, you can see they are trying to isolate kabul. wathey want to do if they achieve that isolation, only they can speak to. you can see -- to isolate kabul. not unlike how they operated in other parts of the country. being able to force surrender without necessarily much bloodshed. again, i can't speak for what their intentions are. what i can tell you is we are taking the situation seriously. that's one of the reasons we are moving forces into kabul to assist with this particular mission. we know that time is a precious commodity here. >> is it isolated now? >> i don't want to get into a specific intelligence
assessment alt battle deteriorate field. from their actions.on the battl deteriorate field. from their actions. it appears they are trying to get kabul isolateed. >> the main arteries going into kabul. >> i won't get into the lines ever communication except to say it appears that the taliban is trying to isolate the city. they have throughout this last few weeks taken over border crossing and highways and intersections to control lines of what we call communication and lines of revenue. i won't speak to the specific situation in kabul right now. >> you said the afghan forces have the advantage. what proof can you offer as the taliban have taken over vast
majorities of the country and surrounded kabul? >> that the taliban moved with the speed with which they have. the resistness they faced has been insufficient to check those advances did not mean that the advantages are not still there. you have to use. you have to be willing to apply it. >> they are getting crushed on the battlefield. it makes no sense to say they have the advantage. the taliban appear to have all. advantages. >> lucas, i appreciate the effort again. they have greater numbers. they have an air force. a capable air force which is flying more air strikes than we are every day. they have modern equipment. they have organizational structure. they have the benefit of the training we provided them over 20 years. they have the material, the physical advantages. it's time to use those
advantages. >> is the u.s. military prepared to evacuate all americans from kabul and close the u.s. embassy in kabul? >> our commission is to help the state department reduce their civilian personnel in kabul and assist in the special immigrant visa process. >> how close are they to closing the embassy? >> you would have to ask the state department. visa. they are reducing their presence in kabul. >> are 3,000 u.s. troops going to kabul, is this a combat deployment? >> i didn't sleep on that question. i answered it well yesterday. >> john, these soldiers and marines putting on night vision
goggles and taking positions at the airport. they are going into a compat zone? >> they are going into harm's way, lucas. they will have the right of self-defense. they will be armed. as i said yesterday and i don't think i could have made it any more clear: if there is an attack upon our forces. our commanders have now and always have had the right and responsibility to defend themselves in any attack on our forces in afghanistan will be met swiftly with a forceful and appropriate response. nobody is walking away from the fact this is potentially dangerous. in fact, i think one of the things i said at the opening of the press conference i won't provide a lot of operational details because we know it's dangerous. we are all mindful of the perilous situation in afghanistan and the deteriorating security situation. lucas, i find it a little -- i
find it frustrating that you are trying to pin me down on nomenclature like we are afraid to say the word combat after 20 years of being in afghanistan. we understand what we are facing. we take the risks very, very seriously. our troops and leaders will have all of the rights and responsibilities to protect themselves and their comrades. >> did the defense secretary recommend the full withdrawal of troops before this week? >> i won't talk about that. >> i think it's important for history and the people watching this briefing. did the defense secretary support the full military withdrawal from kabul? >> kabul i will never talk about the secretary's advice and counsel to the commander-in-chief. the president made hiss decision. we are executing that decision.
he made additional decisions to help the state department reduce personnel and we will support that to. >> some think the u.s. government should pull all americans out of kabul and level the embassy. what do you think about that? >> i think one of the great things about this country is that people are free to express their opinions about anything they want. what i am here to do, lucas, is to articulate the policies we are executing and the way we are executinging them. that's my focus today. to tell you when we have been ordered to do and how we will execute the orders. >> time to pull all americans out? >> lucas, we are focussed on helping the state department reduce their foot print in kabul. that's what we will be doing. >> a follow-up on lucas's 4th question. >> [laughing]. >> you talked about how the troops there have the right of
self-defense. that was going to be my question. a tactical purpose for sending these troops there. you described in very general terms. is there a secondary effect you are having by sending these troops into kabul sending a message to the taliban: these troops are here. don't attack us. we are here to carry out our mission and at the same time saying we are here to support the government of kabul, don't attack kabul? >> are you suggesting there is a contradiction there? >> no, i am asking: is there a message intention sending troops there as well. i understand the primary mission is to protect the americans and the afghan interpreters and families as they leave. is there a secondary effect by
sending troops from to message the taliban, don't attack us while we are doing this? >> the main purpose for these troops is to conduct this particular mission. leads the secretary made his decisions based on prudence. make sure you have what you need and have reserves. we don't know how the situation will unfold. he doesn't choose these units or this approach. sosend a message. he chose this to accomplish a mission and make sure he had enough capability and capacity to do it safely and in an orderly fashion. that said, and i said this now 3 or 4 times, if these forces are attacked and threatened, we have the ability and the right of
self-defense and we will respond in a forceful and appropriate way. >> we talked about the troops from the 82nd airborne going into kuwait to be on stand by. is their mission going to be like the ones from the 3,000 that will be arriving by the end of this weekend? or is theirs something different. >> sorry. say that again. >> in kuwait should they be called upon will they be doing what the 3,000 the battalion arriving in kabul at the end of the weekend or some thinking they might do something else. they are a ready reserves force available to us should they be needed for any number of security missions. i could not speculate what those missions would look like. they will have capabilities that
are commiserate with the battalions that are going to karzai international airport over the next few days. >> pakistan is blaming now again the u.s. for the crisis in afghanistan and [inaudible] from pakistan endorsed the taliban government in kabul. finally if any country in the region including india helped in the mission of evacuation? >> i don't know of any other nation involved in this. this is a sovereign decision.
i don't know of any such requests or requirements. look, any of afghanistan's neighboring nations and in the international community that believe they have or want to have a stake in the future of afghanistan, we would simply would urge hem to act in ways that helps lead to those kinds of better outcomes for the afghan people and to help us to negotiate a political settlement. dan? >> thank you, john. you said yesterday that you thought this was the right time for this mission. lawmakers from both parties and love of afghans would say the right time for this mission was back in may or june. you can square those two things? can why did it take so long?
>> we said for quite sometime we know we have a moral obligation to help those who helped us. we were ready, willing and able to support efforts to move special immigrants, people applying for special immigrants visa out of the country in 2 locations and we met that obligation. it's a process that, as you know, doesn't reside here at the defense department. it's a process that has requirements. what i can tell you from a dod perspective. it's not something we ever lost sight of. it was not an obligation we forgot and came around to. we planned for a lot of contingencies and this was one of them. tony. >> john, a couple of questions. you said dod is a planning
organization. has sent-compresented a contingency plan to re-introduce u.s. combat troops like in 2014 in iraq if the white house requests it? has such a plan been crafted? >> we are a planning organization is true. what is also is true we don't talk about every single plan on the books. our focus right now tony and the plans we are executing are to meet the president's draw down requirement by the end of this month and to assist in the draw down of state department personnel also by the end of the month. i won't speculate about what things look like going forward. again, i remind, tony, this mission is narrowly focussed specific tailored mission to support the state department at
this time. >> second question. you heard the narrative and the questions from reporters and everybody else is this a repeat of the fall of saigon? you are not a historian. a number of you guys are thinking: how do you answer that question? give a sense of the analogy to equate what is going on now with the fall of saigon? >> we are not focussed on the history of the vietnam war. we are just not. we are focussed on meeting the requirements that we have today. that's where our head space is. we have seen the commentary. it's best to leave that to historians. we are focussed on meeting our commitments to the state department colleagues and that we continue to meet our commitments while we have the authorities and capabilitieses
to our afghan partners on the ground. >> mike, go ahead. >> a 20 year war in afghan if it ends with taliban rolling into kabul and carrying weapons that our allies turned over to them? >> mike, i am not -- i don't have a crystal ball. i can't see the future. what i can tell you is our troops who deployed to afghanistan after 9-11 did what they were sent from to do. prevent afghanistan from being a safe haven for terrorists attacks on our home land. and to degrade the capability of al-qaeda. a lot of progress was made in afghanistan. a progress we don't want to see put at greater risk. going forward we will do a couple of things. we will make sure that a
terrorist strike can't come from afghanistan again. we will continue to support our afghan partners bilaterally through maintenance and financial support and we want to see a stable secure afghanistan. the other thing i would say is we want to continue to see that there is a negotiated political settlement here for the government going forward. that's our focus right now. >> do you think the taliban is interested in negotiating? >> that's a question for the taliban leaders to speak to. they have a team there. they have participated in the past in negotiations. whether they are still interested in that is for them to speak to. we are still interested in that outcome and so should the rest of the international community.
>> one follow-up on mike's question. on the weapons. will the u.s. allow advanced aircraft that we provided afghan forces over the years, will the u.s. allow those aircraft to fall into taliban hands? >> i think you can understand why i won't speculate about that. there is an afghan air force in place flying missions every day. our commitments remain in place refurbishing black hawk helicopters and with financial support. i won't speculate about the destruction of property going forward. we will make sure they have the capability to use them in the field. >> would you say the u.s. will
not allow those aircraft to fall into the hands of the taliban? >> we are always worried about u.s. commitment that could fall into an adversary's hands. that's something we never lose focus on. what actions we might take to fore stall it, i don't want to speculate about it. paul? from politico. >> [silence]. >> i guess paul is not there. jeff? >> thank you. i want to clarify something you said. you said with the air lift the military will be able to move thousands of people per day. were you speaking about afghans? so the military will have the capability to move thousands of
afghans and families per day? >> when i say thousands of people that would include a population of afghans, of course, that are being processed through the special immigrant visa program including their families. okay. that's about it for today. thank you very much. we are all set. >> sandra: you have been listening to a spokesperson from the pentagon describe what he continued to describe as a deteriorating situation on the ground in afghanistan as the taliban takes over more control. u.s. officials told fox news that kabul could fall tomorrow or next month. the operation has been gun. troops going in harm's way. he would not describe it as a combat mission but said troop movement are happening as we speak. the troops will be there by the
end of the congress. congressman mark green has been standing by along with trace gallagher. your reaction to what you just heard live from the pentagon? >> a lot of issues of the 100,000 foot level from the administration decisions being made, he avoided those questions. tried to focus on what the troop movements are all about. it is to help that foot print. john kirby said to be the state department's foot print and decrease in size. non-combatant evacuations. we trained on that all the time. these guys -- today's press conference focussed on that. really avoided some of the strategic failures that brought about this circumstance. >> trace: we avoided talking about combat. but he said the word a couple of times. i want to give you a checklist. tell me if i am wrong the things
he said. he said well is no imminent threat to kabul but the taliban is trying to isolate the city. they will use karzai international airport to get these civilians out. both afghanistan and americans and others. in the taliban takes kabul by the end of the weekend, as many suspect they might, how do you secure the airport? he won't talk about rules of engagement on the ground. but there has to be concern that the taliban is moving in and we are trying to get these people out you? could have combat on the ground in kabul by sunday. >> it's very possible with the speed that the taliban is moving. with 3,000 american infantry adding to the forces already there and the 82nd soon to be sitting in kuwait the taliban will probably slow down. there is no way they could
confront that kind of military force. the city won't fall as long as those troops are there. the russia sent a team against us and we held them off with 10 guys and our air force. our military can do this mission. the problem is the afghans have not been able to. >> sandra: this update from the u.n. from reuters. fighting between the taliban and the afghans security forces is causing tremendous harm. the chief said afghanistan is spinning out of control. he also is calling on all parties to do more to protect civilians warning attacks against civilians amount to war crimes. he is disturbed by indications
that the taliban is imposing severe restrictions on human rights targeting women and journalist. it's quite a warning. we have a bit of sound. >> even a country that has known generations of conflict, afghanistan is in the throes of another desperate [inaudible]. a tragedy for its long suffering people. afghanistan is spinning out of control. >> sandra: strong words there. he called on the taliban to immediately halt this offensive and negotiate in good faith. do you expect the taliban to negotiate here as we do know that the white house is pleading with the taliban to leave the u.s. embassy there alone? >> it's startingling that the
administration would think that's an option. the taliban have all of the leverage. everywhere they confronted their enemy, the afghan forces, they have won. they are -- the way that quote sounded to me. it reminded me of a young boy i saw when i first got into afghanistan. his right arm was blown off by a mine. just the impact of generations after generation of people in afghanistan having to put up with this. it's heart breaking. >> trace: there was a great comment of back and forth with bret baier last night and john kirby. they talked about what you were just talking about. this idea that the taliban wants to feel relevant and negotiate and be taken seriously? i will play this and get your response. >> the taliban continues to try to advance in the country
through brutality and oppression and fear. those kind of tactics won't lead to the level of legitimacy they want. >> that's not a threat. do you think the taliban will say we want to be legitimate in the world's eyes? and that will make them stop beheading people? >> they said they want legitimacy and want a hand in governing. >> trace: the administration is banking highly on the fact that the taliban wants to be legitimate. right now it doesn't seem like the taliban want to be legitimate because they are controlling the country. >> it's fascinating to me, year after year from the left, back when it was the soviet union they want detante. the carter administration, it's
detante. we will throw in the towel. the iran deal made by the obama administration. here we have the taliban a brutal, sadistic -- [no audio]. >> sandra: we lost the congressman. president biden while all of this is happening. we heard from the u.s. security council and the update from the pentagon. the situation is deteriorating on the ground in afghanistan. president biden just took off and landed a short time ago for his vacation at camp david this weekend. it's remarkable the optics of it all. i believe peter doocy is standing by at the white house. we are getting these images in as the president begins his vacation away. >> it was about this time yesterday that we were listening to admiral kirby at the pentagon gu through the explanation of
how the 3,000 troops would be deployed and got the note that the president was on his way to delaware. flying off to camp david where he will spend the weekend. he hasn't said anything about this order. he is the commander-in-chief. he made the order. a senior white house official told us that happened yesterday after meeting with the defense secretary and the national security advisor. he gave remarks about prescription drug prices and anti-mask protests. i asked him is afghanistan lost? he did not entertain the question and hasn't said anything. of him getting on and off the helicopters in the last 24 hours or so, and all we got is a statement from the press secretary jen psaki. he said that the president stands by what he said on tuesday. he doesn't regret his decision to order this withdrawal and
keep it on the timeline it's on right now by the end of august to have all of the combat troops out. that's why we are at right now. we know that they still have the password to the twitter account. we have seen tweets about healthcare and the gavin newsom recall but nothing about sending troops to afghanistan. they are on the way. some are already. there it's dangerous. >> sandra: yes. >> trace: peter, it's trace. john kirby gave us a timeline. the white house noted how fast the taliban moved but asked are you surprised? he indicated well we were not surprised. yet the president one month ago said the likelihood there will be the taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely. to say they are not surprised it
appears disingenuous? >> yes, and something interesting about listening to the president on tuesday when he said that it's time for the afghans to fight for themselves. they have to the taliban out numbered. then today, where the pentagon is getting questions about how quickly another half dozen capitals have fallen. he is getting daily briefings. every day the situation is getting a lot worse. even just yesterday to today, there was a slight but noticeable change from kirby. yesterday they were talking about this is a narrowly focussed mission to get the diplomats out and the u.s. personnel and people we want to help get out. today he said this is dangerous. if our u.s. forces are attacked by the taliban, they have the right to defend themselves.
the way they describe it. lucas was trying to get them to talk about combat. they didn't want to do it. he did a great job with his question. the answers were consistent. they didn't want to go there. the pentagon cannot answer any questions and make it sound like this is not a dangerous mission. all of the facts when you look at kabul and it's surrounded right now. they didn't say kabul is isolated or what they think might happen. if you look at the map, the taliban is right there. there is kabul. orange and red. taliban on all sides or near that. >> sandra: peter doocy live at the white house where the president is not. he is working away at camp david. trace, i want to get this in here. as you have seen reported and we talked to joey jones about this. all of those who sacrificed and fought in afghanistan over the 20 year period.
lindsey graham put out a message to those veterans saying to all americans who served in afghanistan and their family members -- this is important. you provided protection to our nation for 20years against another 9-11. you and your comrade s did your job to defend america. this allows american freedom to flourish. an important message in the middle of this. >> trace: to be of that into a peter doocy was saying, the fact the pentagon has said over and over, this is a narrowly focused mission. these three battalions, two marine and one army, they are to go in and get the civilians out from the hamid karzai airport, and they themselves are going to apparently get out, and the question is it goes from narrowly focused to suddenly,
what happens if there is combat at hamid karzai airport? what happens then? those are things that clearly the white house hasn't thought through where they are not at least letting us know what those answers might be. >> sandra: and biden will apparently get another briefing from his national security team a bit later on today. trace, great to be with you on this friday afternoon. thanks to everyone for joining us. i'm sandra smith. >> trace: i'm trace gallagher in for john roberts. "the story" begins with martha maccallum right now. ♪ ♪ >> martha: thank you, guys. good afternoon, everybody. i am martha maccallum and afghanistan is spinning out of control, that from the u.n. secretary general speaking moments ago. this is obviously a very fast-moving situation, and it changes literally by the hour with regard to the u.s. embassy and kabul. a lot of questions about what the u.s. position should be there at this point as the taliban threatens to topple the afghan capital next in their relentless