tv Washington Journal 08272021 CSPAN August 27, 2021 7:00am-10:00am EDT
man on afghanistan and be sure to join the conversation with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages and tweets. "washington journal" is next. >> we have some sense like many of you do what the families of these rave heroes are feeling today. you get this feeling like you are being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest. there is no way out. my heart aches for you. but i know this -- ♪ host: president biden at the white house yesterday and vowed to hunt down those behind the attacks at the airport in kabul, 13 american service members and dozens of afghans were killed. 18 americans were wounded along
with scores of afghans. good morning, we will begin our conversation with that attack in kabul yesterday and your reaction to the president's words. republicans democrats. an independent. you can text us with your first name, city and state. you can also go to facebook.com/ c-span and we will read some of your comments. let's listen to more from the president yesterday at the white house with he was asked why the united states is trusting the tell about to secure -- the tell about -- the taliban to secure the area around the airport. >> we inherited a situation since, as we all know that the
afghan military collapsed 11 days before -- in 11 days. that it is in the interest, as mckenzie said, in the interest of the taliban that in fact isis k has not metastasized beyond what it is, number one and number two, it's in their interest that we are able to leave on time, on target, and as a consequence of that, the major things we have asked them, moving back the perimeter, giving more space between the wall, stopping vehicles from coming through, etc. searching people coming through, it is not what you would call a tightly
commanded, regimented operation like the u.s. military is. but they are acting in their interest. and so, by and large, and i have asked the 7 -- the military the same question, whether or not it's a useful exercise. no one trusts them. we are counting on their self-interest to continue to generate their activities. it's in their self-interest that we leave when we said and that we get as many people out as we can. like i said, even in the midst of everything that happened today, over 7000 people we have gotten out, over 5000 americans.
it's not a matter of trust, it's a matter of mutual self-interest. host: president biden at the white house yesterday. joining us this morning is leo shane. what more are you hearing that the pentagon will or won't do to secure the area around that airport? guest: that's a big question right now. they will have to do some preliminary work to make sure they don't close the airport and see what they can do about the crowds coming out. it's a situation were all u.s. troops are supposed to be out in 4.5 days and it's a scramble to destroy equipment and pick up everything and get ready to go. it's not a situation where u.s. troops can be on the offensive like they usually are. they are not planning out -- going outside the airport or on the streets to set up their own checkpoints and secure the area.
there is a limit to how much security they can provide their. in recent days, there is a limit to how much they can do to deal with these crowds even after the attack and as we seen some of the harassment from taliban fighters, folks are still assembling in large numbers, folks want to get out. it. creates a security problem host: evacuations continue today. what have you learned from your sources about the military mission? the president says all of the military were on board with how this was conducted. is that true? guest: we are still checking into that. you are hearing rumblings but for now, everyone seems focused on this idea of getting out of afghanistan and following through with the august 31 deadline and dealing with the consequences afterwards.
the president, as you heard come about to strike back at the terrorists and we don't know what that will look like yet whether that will be airstrikes from afar. we don't have any sense yet. i get the idea the military is still trying to figure out that will be. the immediate problem is there is still several thousand troops at the airport, still facing security risks. if they can't secure their, the fear is there will be another attack and more casualties. host: what does the intelligence look like on these potential attacks? guest: we had were from the state department wednesday there was a possibility there is attack after the success of the attack on thursday and it's easy to believe this group will try more. they want to see america hit hard and they don't care about civilian casualties so still a very tenuous security situation.
officials are scrambling to figure out what they can do and what additional measures they can do and whether they can rely on the taliban to provide any help in this case. this is a splinter group from taliban fighters and they are not friendly with the taliban . the taliban once the u.s. out in the easiest way is to leave on august 31 and these attacks don't help. host: what are you hearing about what congress will do when they return? guest: the house armed services committee is scheduled to do its annual authorization bill mark on wednesday. it's a marathon session that starts at 10 a.m. and goes deep into the night stop i would expect several measures to come up, some republican backed and some democratic backed in terms of looking at reports and ways to attack this terrorist threat
and looking at what went wrong, an examination of what the biden administration did right or did wrong in ordering this withdrawal. we have heard from a number of democratic-controlled committees that they are planning on holding hearings in the coming weeks and coming months on the missteps of this. congress will be looking at a lot of this. what can they do in the short term and the answer is not too much. tuesday will be the august 31 deadline and i don't expect anything more than some statements from congress between now and then. what will happen as they go through the budget process? will there be more money for operations overseas, world will be money taken away from -- for afghan humanitarian assistance? we will see that in the next few months. host: you can go to military times.com. thank you. the reaction from capitol hill
yesterday from the republican leader in the senate, mitch mcconnell saying let's turn to all of you, james in pittsburgh, independent, what did you think yesterday when you learned of the attack and listening to the president? caller: hi, america. host: what is that? caller: he goes to war with as little rockets and i went over
there and they lost. and they surrendered. that's when they started the fake clone and the fake delta. host: moving on, democratic caller. caller: i am john from brooklyn and i would like to know, those 300,000 soldiers that were trained for 20 years leave their guns down and ran away, why are they not getting any blame and head -- and have they been vaccinated? they should be the last to come out of there. they couldn't protect their country and the president was dependent on them to protect them. they laid their guns down and ran. why are there -- why are they not bring the women and children out first? why are the men pushing the women out of the way? thank you. host: curtis in baltimore,
independent. caller: good morning, it -- i was really devastated to hear that two individuals had bombs strapped on them at the airport and killed soldiers. i support biden but i don't support the situation that's going on now in afghanistan. i don't support how the withdrawal was drawn up but i do support the drawdown. after yesterday, there should be extreme security situations taken. the united states should push out the perimeter on their own and not ask the afghan is to do it for them. that's how i feel. thank you for taking michael.
host: yesterday, general kenneth mckenzie at u.s. central command held a briefing and he discussed the threats around the airport and he talked about what's being done to prevent future attacks. >> let's talk about the threats. very real threats, very, very technical which means imminent could occur at any moment. they range from rocket attacks. we know they would like to law of rocket in there if they could. we have pretty good protection against that. we have our anti-rocket and mortar system. they are pretty effective against these kind of attacks. we are well-positioned around the boundary of the airfield and we should be in good shape should that kind of attacker attack occur. they want to get a suicide attack in there.
they are working those options. they want to use a vest wearing attack. we look at all those things. we also share versions of this information with the taliban so they can actually do some searching of their force and we believe some attacks have been thwarted by them. we him in doing this since the 14th. this is an attack that has been carried out also be others have been deployed. we cut down the information we give the taliban but we give them enough to act in preventing these attacks and we try to push out the boundary even further so that we don't get large crowds at the gate. at the gate today, we had a larger crowd than we would like shows you that the system is not perfect the we have gained large elements of standoff at other gates and we want to keep that in place. a standoff for attacks like this
is always the best defense but we don't have the opportunity given the geography of the ground we are on. we take the threat of these attacks very seriously and we are working them hard and doing a variety of things. we had attack helicopters on the round. they had good thermal and optical imaging systems and we have air wrapped overhead that have good imaging systems. we have unmanned aircraft that have the ability to work step these systems are being applied in defense of the careful -- on a continuous basis. we also use the taliban as a tool to protect us as much as possible. host: general mckenzie yesterday explaining the threat and what they are doing to prevent another attack after 13 u.s. service members were killed and over 90 afghans at that attack at the airport yesterday.
james, your reaction to the fall of afghanistan and what you heard from the president in new berlin, illinois, democratic caller. caller: it's no surprise we are seeing the results of what we have happening here step with joe biden and office, no surprise. host: what do you mean? caller: he's 50 years in government and has policies his whole life in the media covers for the guy. what we've seen happen here is partly due to the media. you guys in the media, all of you. once we have established that the media's demo rat, 94% and they cover for biden and the clinton's and the obamas, once you get this established, know who the players are if you're going to play the game and that goes for c-span nbc, all you
liberal networks and even fox news, don't be full by them. they are democrats, too. they are no better than cnn. host: all right, skip from wisconsin, independent. caller: i got shocking news. the first thousands come in and the general had 10 days notice to get ready for 25000 and is going crazy. he said 90% have no id. no ids whatsoever and is terrible. i live 25 miles from it. we had germans here during world war ii to we had problems with getting out step we know what's
going on. how are we going to remove 25,000? i used to be in the service and my wife worked there so we know what it is. it is devastating to our community because they are not vetted. anybody can come in that's wanted. host: go to our website and listen to a refugee settlement expert we had on the program yesterday. he talked about the vetting that happens to bring in refugees and talks about those coming from afghanistan. the washington times this morning
everything else but what i've been looking at over the past five months is that our elected people, republicans, seem to have on out of their way to convince those terrorists over there in the middle east to attack us. you look at what they said in its leading up to them attacking us. here's the problem, if we are going to be down on president biden, president trump let them go out of jail. he came over there trying to do his deal and he let them out and he let them all go. where did they go, they go back to what they were doing before? . i think it's sickening because you look at all of these people running around out there and they have their torches and red flags.
there is a bunch of people that have no compassion at all. you got people in the government and they should chase them out with a stick. thank you for taking my call. host: let's listen to the present yesterday who talked about completing the mission in afghanistan. >> i've been in constant contact with their senior military leaders and i mean constant around-the-clock. our commanders on the ground and throughout the day, they made it clear that we can and we must complete this mission and we will. that's what i have ordered them to do. we will not be deterred by terrorists. we will not let them stop our mission. we will continue the evacuation. i have also ordered my commanders to develop operational plans to strike isis-k assets and facilities. we will respond with force and precision at our time, at the place we choose in the moment of
our choosing. here is what you need to know -- these ices terrorists will not win. we will rescue the americans. we will get our afghan allies out and our mission will go on. america will not be intimidated. i have the utmost confidence in her brave service members who continue to execute this mission with courage and honor to save lives and get americans, or partners, and our afghan allies out of afghanistan. every day when i talked to our commanders, i asked them what they need, what more do they need to get the job done. they will tell you, i granted every west. i reiterated to them today on three occasions that they should take the maximum steps necessary to protect our forces on the ground in kabul i want to thank the secretary of defense in the
military leadership of the pentagon and all the commanders in the field, there has been complete unanimity with every commander on the objectives of this mission and the best way to achieve those objectives. host: the president yesterday at the white house, your reaction to what you heard from him following that deadly attack at the kabul airport in afghanistan. bill in new york sends a you can send us a text if you want 2 at02-748-8003 just include your first name, city and state. caller: i'm a vietnam veteran. congress can't out -- cut out
funding to the vietnamese in 1975 step they had no bullets. they didn't want to fight for their own country. these people will let their wives and daughters get slaughtered by the taliban. we are making heroes out of people who won't fight. host: juanita, fort payne, alabama, republican. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. i have several comments real quickly. first of all, president biden keep bringing up donald trump. donald trump had nothing to do with this. it's not the fact that president biden did this, it's the way he did it. the procedure that he took.
second of all, a lot of this is -- i don't know, a distraction i guess. we need to pray for our country because our countries is going down the tubes. he does need to quit blaming donald trump for what he did stuff he did this, donald trump didn't. donald trump would have gotten the people out first before he remove the troops. that is the way president biden should have done this. i don't know who's giving him his information but whoever it is, they need to step down and president biden needs to resign. you have a great day, thank you. host: in the washington post --
ron in los angeles, an independent, let me show you the headlines about what happened in kabul yesterday from around the country. caller: with the president said yesterday was the same political pablum i would've expected from either party. i have a real problem with the disconnect that the american
people seem to have, always looking at the what and never the why. the united states has been in afghanistan killing women and children for 20 years. that's their country. the united states has gone into adventure after adventure, never defining what three was, didn't win in vietnam, didn't win in korea, didn't win in iraq. they are now retreating, not withdrawing. what motivates these people? to strap explosives on in their backyard to kill americans? we talk about being attacked but we never ask why. we need to do that. host: general mckenzie explained yesterday the ices k threat in his briefing. listen to what he had to say. >> the threat from isis is
extremely real. we saw it manifested itself in the last 10 hours with an actual attack. it is their desire to continue those attacks and we are doing everything we can to be prepared for those attacks and that includes reaching out to the taliban who are providing our security around the airport and let them know what they need to protect us and we will continue to coordinate them as we go forward. host: here's a text -- derek and randall town, maryland,. democratic caller. caller: first of all, i take my hat off and i want to thank all service members who served in country. that's the first thing. the man from alabama is your typical ignorant trump supporter . trump is the one who initiated
this whole thing of trying to get out which made them. it wasn't going to be easy trying to get out. no one is making excuses here. it happened and we have to stick together as a people. don't forget, we don't just have foreign terrorist, we have domestic terraces well and trump is one of them and look what we have to do to get to the bottom of that step whenever you see people making an excuse to something happened that was beyond our control, we made a mistake and we did it, yes, we made a mistake but you have to keep moving on we have to stay together as a country and stop placing blame on things about he should resign in all this nonsense. he is a smart guy and trump was too stupid to be the president. caller: good morning, it will be nice if you could be more disciplined with keeping people on topic. he gets tiring to hear the
constant attacks. that being said, what happened was deplorable. i'm a republican and a conservative and i'm still a trump supporter so i probably say that. yeah, trump signed an agreement in doha with the tell about and it was time to leave. most of the nation agrees on that stuff once again, i think it would serve everyone well and your station as well, when people say well trump, trump, trump. president biden is under no obligation to adhere to anything trump signed as an executive. we have seen that i don't know how many times. dozens of executives orders and canceling the keystone xl pipeline, letting the border be wide open. the excuse that trump signed an
agreement and got the process started for us to leave afghanistan, that's a distraction. that means nothing. the minute trump left office, none of that meant anything. biden owns defense of him on ang for the last seven months is pure partisan politics. we have seen the border, we have seen energy prices, some on and so forth. you don't just pull out. i don't know if we left it for the afghan army, that has not been explained, but we have left billions of dollars of military hardware there, humvees, helicopters, small arms, i'm not sure about tanks. was that intentional? usually when you extract militarily from a position, a forward operating base from a
country, you pull out resources, you pull out your american nationals, you get them out first. the military is the last to go because they are your security. this was done ass backwards. we pulled the military out and left our american nationals hanging by a thread. after 20 years, we never got the job done. it appears we have been lied to by the government and military for 20 years in terms of how well prepared, how well trained. i cannot judge the afghan army and the afghan people. i didn't serve, so that would be very presumptuous of me. but it sure all fell apart pretty damn fast. but the fact is that biden ows s this. host: we heard your point. joining us on the phone is
democrat from pennsylvania, susan wild, who serves on the foreign affairs committee. your reaction to the attack yesterday? guest: good morning, greta. i think it goes without saying that i am absolutely gutted, as most of us in america are. tragic, devastating. i had feared that we would see an attack. i had no inkling it would be of this magnitude, and it is just tragic. host: should the president extend that august 31 deadline? in four days, he plans to withdrawal all the personnel. guest: i have modified my thinking on this. i have sent a letter with representative don bacon, republican, former air force general, urging the president to extend the deadline.
from everything that i am hearing now, including information from the two congressman who flew to kabul without authorization, it appears we do not have that option. i don't think that we can extend because the safety of getting our troops out depends, unfortunately, on cooperation with the taliban. the taliban and will not cooperate with us beyond august 31. that is pretty clear. that is why the president has been so absolute in his statements that august 31 was it, which is unfortunate, but i suspect that is the reason behind that decision. host: what did you learn from your colleagues who took that unauthorized mission to oversee the evacuation? guest: they told the story of the heroic jobs that our troops
are doing at the airport. this is not some orderly exit by afghans single file, the way that we are accustomed to doing at airports, going through security. not at all. masses of people that our troops are having to mingle with, touch, pat down, expose themselves to horrific danger, as we learned yesterday. that was apparently the circumstances of the attack yesterday. i have learned that, number one. i have also learned, without citing any of their confidential sources, that there is no movement on the part of the taliban about extending the deadline to get out. as bizarre as it seems, after 20 years of fighting the taliban, we are now dependent on their
cooperation to get us out of that country as safely as possible. that has already broken down with what happened yesterday, which undoubtedly was an isis-k attack, but the taliban is either ill-equipped to protect our troops and people from that kind of attack or there was some kind of concerted action. i don't know. but i think we have to get out of this. host: as a member of the foreign affairs committee, what is the ramifications of yesterday and the withdrawal for the region? guest: the region is in dire straits. what we seem to be witnessing -- and we will learn much more in the foreign affairs committee when we conduct hearings -- is that the united states has been
propping up a society and government and army of afghans that quite honestly could not pass basic training, i don't think, in the united states. it is said. -- sad. i don't know if there has been deceit of the military over the last decade. your prior guest alluded to that as being a possibility. that is one of the things we have to find out. we have to find out why this government, fledgling army collapsed so quickly. did they learn nothing from our people, our fine american troops who were over there with a determination to prop up their government and help them survive on their own once we left?
we have to find out why they collapsed so quickly. that is one of the many things we have to find out. we have to also ask a lot of questions about our exit strategy. everything that has transpired over the last year leading up to this. quite honestly, why the first day of the evacuation was such a disaster, and of course, yesterday. host: should speaker pelosi bring congress back? guest: i am ready, willing, and able to go back on a moments notice. i think my colleagues feel the same way. the problem is this -- the only point to come back now would be to conduct these hearings. we cannot take actions to force the commander-in-chief to take certain steps. that is not within our power.
we have power to authorize military action and wars, but we don't have the power to ask the president to extend deadlines, force him to. the only way that we would come back is to have these hearings, which i'm anxious to do, but at the same time, the people that we need to hear from are very, very busy. they are doing this mission that is even more important than congress getting the answers we need. the answer is, she should call us back at the earliest possible moment we can get to work on finding out what went wrong here because our power of oversight is absolutely essential to exercise. there is no point in calling us back and try to demand the military leaders who are actively engaged in this process
come testify before congress. that is not their most important role this minute. host: congresswoman, thank you. guest: thank you, greta. host: back to your calls. brad in london, kentucky. independent. what do you think about the situation in afghanistan? caller: it seems the more you try to look at any aspect of the war in afghanistan, the farther any region -- reason or logic gets from you. if we go back to 2001, we had an issue, the hijackers were not from afghanistan, they were pakistani, saudi arabian, egyptian. by december, 2001, we had killed the leader of the taliban and al qaeda. it could have ended there.
osama bin laden at tora bora and him seemingly escaping from thin air. we had been training and equipping an army for over 15 years to the tune of i think $800 million, and they don't even lose their first battle, there is no first battle. they are gone before any battle happens. you look at something like leaving all those munitions and armaments there. that is not something to brush off. that is quite a large number of weapons of war, and those will use for violence, and we don't know whose hands those go into. they could be used on us, they probably will be to some extent. the cost of the war. for $2 trillion, we could have
sent to u.s. county in the country $636 million. have we just been looking at a 20-year money laundering operation? host: al in toledo, washington. democratic caller. caller: thank you for being there and taking my call. i spent 30 years in active duty in the navy. when i was 19, i was asked to go directly and work with them. i had worked on more plans, contingency operation plans, this capability plans, and all the other top-secret stuff. the plans were there to get out.
the last couple of months, we have destroyed every that we did not want to get into the hands of foreign nationals which they could use against us. we also returned as much of the equipment as we could. we were told last year that we would be out by the first of may. if, back in january, before the administration changed, we had started to get our troops out, our allies out of there, we would have still been placed with the same thing we have today. we have a lot of people out there fighting wars after the fact. i can guarantee you that the american people would never let themselves be tasked to do the things that we tax them for. nor would the congress authorize
those taxes to be imposed on us. they authorized the war, the funding of it. as far as the ground troops, the army, on a two-year basis, it is a never ending battle. i did 30 years. the entire purpose of ever armed forces is idealistically to be so well armed, so well manned, so well-equipped, ready to go to war and win that most people would not choose to come against us. we went into afghanistan for the wrong reasons. it was mostly political. host: i have to get in other voices. jay in philadelphia says, and he withdrawn must be condition based, not a date certain. second, you have to get your people out before the military
assets. we had a secure air base at bagram and we packed up and left. we have no over the horizon intelligence capability because all of our assets are gone. total blunder. that is what jay has to say. fay, a republican in alabama. caller: first of all, i was listening when the guy called in and called a woman ignorant. i think he actually showed his iq. i don't believe in name-calling. yes, i am a trump supporter. if we had had more trump supporters, we wouldn't be going through this botched up mess right now. like the guy said, all of our equipment was left over there, what are they going to do, use it against us? what is ignorant about that? i stopped watching c-span quite a while back because of the name-calling. you guys need to quit letting
people call people names and ridicule people. it is not just -- host: we certainly ask for civil conversations, and for the most part people play along. to your point, you can make an argument without calling people names. we ask you to do that. it is pretty simple. in other news this morning, nbc's lester holt posted an interview that he did with the capitol police officer who shot ashli babbitt on january 6. >> her family points out that she was not armed. >> that's correct. >> the fact that you were not aware if she was armed or not, did that alter your decision-making? >> it did not. >> what should we make of the fact that there were other officers and potentially life-threatening situation who didn't use their service weapons that day? >> i am sure it was a terrifying
situation. i can only talk about my training, my reaction, my level of expertise. it would be upon them to speak for themselves. >> former president trump has talked about you and this incident. he says she was murdered. what does it feel like to hear that from a former president? >> well, it is disheartening. if he was in the room or anywhere, i was paired to do the same thing for him and his family. >> would you have his back if you are so assigned? >> i would. it is my job. host: the capitol police officer in an nbc interview. wall street journal headline about that interview, he called the shooting a last resort. before we knew the identity and before the interview that nbc got with lieutenant michael berg, we spoke with republican
wayne mullen about the shooting of ashli babbitt. he was in the chamber that day and saw what happened. here is what he had to say. >> he did not want to use lethal force at all. this guy is later in his career. i don't know for a fact but i guarantee he has never had to pull his weapon like that in a manner before. he was the last person to want to use force like that. he did not want to do that. i know for a fact. after it happened, he came over and was physically and emotionally distraught. i actually gave him a hug and said, sir, you did what you had to do. and i mean that. unfortunately, the young lady and her family's life has changed. it is unfortunate that she lost her life and other people lost their lives, but lieutenant's life also changed. the first time you use lethal force, that does not leave you. he didn't show up to work that day to do that.
he was doing his job and he got put in a situation where he had to do his job because there were members on the balcony. if you are going to present your weapon in a manner and give commands and they still don't listen and approach, you don't have a choice. at that point, you have to discharge your weapon in a manner of self-defense, or that weapon will be used on you and will put all of our lives in danger, too. unfortunately, what he did, he did. but i believe that he actually saved other lives along the way. a lot more would have lost their lives. host: oklahoma republican markwayne mullin. we spoke to about a dozen members of congress who were in the chamber that day on january 6. we have been showing them on sunday nights. you can find them all on our website, c-span.org. put in the video library at the
top, january 6, and you'll be able to find them there. john in cincinnati. democrat caller. what was your reaction when you heard? caller: i have been watching this for some time now. all you have to do is look at what this guy has been doing all along. it is the art of the deal. he made a deal with the taliban. we all know that we don't deal with terrorists. when you do deal with terrorists, this is what you get. this man has been doing this from the time he came down the escalator, even before then, when he got all of the republicans he was running against to say, whoever wins, you have to support them no matter what, from here on throughout that presidency. host: who are you talking about? caller: i am talking about the
ex-president, and the art of the deal. he has been dealing the whole time. host: steve in maine. independent. caller: hi, greta. kind of along the same lines of what trump did, talked about, and who knows what he gambled on. biden should have started the process of withdrawn much earlier. he went along with the old washington plan of they can remake history. every place we get into, one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. we always seem to take the side that they are the terrorists and
we are the good guys. whole bush administration, somewhat obama, got into something that first the military leaders told them they should not get into. especially rumsfeld, cheney. we are paying the price for it. you can only do so much for a country. host: greg in chicago. democratic caller. greg, what did you think when you learned about what happened at the airport? caller: we live in a country where there are mass shootings and it is considered normal. we live in a country where there is a global pandemic and there is a group of people called anti-masters. nvr surprise in a war-torn country when there is that? that is what happens in a war-torn country. it is unfortunate but that is
what happens. host: jolene in new york says their bird procedures against the president and his administration seem appropriate given the dangers they have placed the american people in and their handling of the withdrawal. total disregard for their safety of humanity, the afghan people, and for us, for handing over a prime piece of real estate to our declared enemies. you are seeing headlines from around the country after 13 u.s. service members were killed at the kabul airport in between blasts, over 90 afghans. also, dozens of afghans were wounded, along with 18 americans. david in auburn, new york. republican. good morning. caller: i just want to make a comment about the stockpiling of weapons. that stockpile of weapons, there was no contingency to pull that
out. nobody saw this collapse coming. there was no time to pull all of that hardware out. i would also like to say that what you are witnessing now is the fog of war and the fog of politics combined. i guess that is why they call it foggy bottom. host: finish your thought. caller: i wanted to say, this is in confidence, the worst that i've been seeing. thank you very much. host: representative blake moore, republican of utah, joining us on the phone, a member of the armed services committee. your reaction to the attack at the airport? guest: there is only one reaction. for americans, we feel heartbroken at this. we are angered, we have been in
this battle with terrorist organizations. isis-k has apparently taken responsibility for this. there needs to be consequences. it is immense heartbreak and anger over these actions. host: we have had many viewers question the equipment, the tanks, weapons left behind. what can you tell us about when a country -- when the u.s. is withdrawing from a combat zone, what is the procedure? can you take all of that equipment back with you? guest: if you look at the statement that we made back in april, it talks about the need to fortify and leave the afghan forces with an opportunity to defend themselves.
after being there 20 years and developing a partnership, helping train, there is equipment that would be left and utilized. it is a tricky balance to be able to determine what we can do and what he cannot. people are talking about what opportunities you have two sort of neutralize that or destroy that, once we realized we were going to lose the country as quick as we did. that is where the strategy needs to be discussed. afghan forces and allies. but there should have been protocols in place, if we are going to be handing over this type of equipment to the taliban, it is on its optimal. host: when you hold your first hearing on this, what questions will you ask, sir? guest: we introduce the afghan
accountability act of wheat ago, -- a week ago. we should leverage that to all these oversight committees. my big criticism is us telegraphing our entire timeline. looking at a 911 20th anniversary timeline should never have been a part of that discussion. to be able to dig into why we made the decisions we did based on that timeline. i believe there was intelligence that highlighted this was a likely outcome, to how quickly it could happen. that is also the part i want to dig into. the intelligence we had, did we truly see that it would happen this quickly, and that has led to all of these other travesties again with quit mint and also with how quickly isis-k could
have attacked us, the prison evacuation. all of those things. getting bagram air force base was a key part of our strategic advantage over there. those are things that we will look into. host: on evacuations of afghans, what have you learned about these refugees coming to your state of utah, and are they welcomed? guest: our governor has put out a statement and has been clear. utah has had a rich history of welcoming refugees and educating and finding work for refugees. i remain committed to being a part of that tradition. i would hope to see that some of the work that we are doing to help as many of our allies out of afghanistan, that we will find a welcoming home for them here in utah.
i know a lot of b partners and educational institutions will be there. utah is not just the best date in the nation for a strong economy but an open heart, and we welcome that opportunity. host: republican blake moore, member of the armed services committee, thank you for your time. james in memphis, tennessee. democratic caller. james, good morning to you. caller: good morning, ma'am. i agree with the comments, it is heartbreaking the attack on kabul. but i want to tell the american people this, no president would have gotten this right. bush, president obama, president trump, now president biden. they rely on the best information they get. they are not military strategists. they have to rely on the information they get.
as far as the plans, it didn't go right. the goal didn't go right. i don't think president biden is blaming president trump, but the american people left in afghanistan, packing up, the government doesn't have control of the civilians. they can only tell the military to go. when president trump said that, they should have been packing up. it is no president's fault. biden is not to blame for all of this. he is just try to do the best job he can do under the conditions right now. host: gordon, a republican in kansas city. what do you say? caller: thank you for taking my call. i am about to explode this morning hearing people cover for this old man who made the decision probably against the
he needs to resign today. thank you. host: we will take a short break. when we come back, we will talk about the fall of afghanistan and what it means for the region. our guest will be michael kugelman, the deputy director with the wilson center. later on, more of your phone calls. ♪ >> we are at an important tipping point in this nation. what we do matters. i believe the 1776 project, that this project is an important historical moment. and we need people to get behind that. we need to make sure our message reaches white, black, asian, hispanic, everyone. america is a great country and we need to fight for it. >> live, sunday, september 5,
former presser and vice chair of president trump's 1776 commission carol swain on in-depth. her most recent book, lack i for america, how critical race theory is burning down the house. during the conversation with your phone calls, facebook comments, text, and tweets for carol swain, live september 5 noon eastern on in-depth -- eastern in-depth on book tv. ♪ >> the population of china in 1949 when the communists took control was 540 million people. during these 72 years, the prc has had five principal leaders. deng xiaoping, you jintao, and since 2012 the current head of
state is she shing ping. -- xi jinping. david shambaugh has written close to 30 books devoted to the subject of asia. we talked with the professor about his newest book titled china's leaders from mow to now. >> listen to book notes plus at c-span.org/podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. >> washington journal continues. host: we are joined by michael kugelman, the asia program deputy director at the asia center. he focus on afghanistan, asia, and pakistan for the organization. let's begin with the attack at the airport and what does it mean for the future of afghanistan? guest: i think it is a reminder that even though the taliban has acquired an end to its war,
there is still a lot of violence and conflict ahead for afghanistan. the yuan estimated there are nearly two dozen different terrorist organizations based in the afghanistan/pakistan region. isis-k is foremost among them. i think this also highlights the challenges the taliban will face as it tries to consolidate power in the face of a skeptical and worried population. afghanistan is dealing with pretty set years -- pretty serious crisis with food crisis, drought, food insecurity. insecurity continues to be a major challenge as well. isis is a rival of the taliban. it is important to keep that in mind. isis does not want the taliban to succeed or the taliban to consolidate power and gain it inside of afghanistan. i fear we could have more against like this.
isis-k did not come out of nowhere. -- events like this. isis-k did not come out of nowhere. it has been there since 2000 15 and has carried out to horrific attacks over the years. it has been resilient because u.s. airpower has been used to target the afghan -- target them, the afghan forces have gone after it, and the taliban too. despite that, there is recent information they are building up cells in the kabul area to help them carry out yesterday's attack. host: what is the population of afghanistan, and what percentage do you estimate is trying to get out? what does that mean for the country itself after this is over? >> it is hard to put a specific figure on how many afghans are trying to get out of the country. you are talking about thousands or sure. that includes those afghans who had formed with u.s. forces, that constitute this siv visa
status. those are the ones trying to get out. there are also the ones that have worked with the u.s. and nato in other capacities, such as working with an american development agency. then there are afghans that even felt particularly vulnerable, such as those from the hizara community. then you have all the afghans who really benefited from the gains that have come out over the last few decades in terms of advances in education, health care, so on and so forth. they do not want to be in a position where they lose those gains. many of them are trying to get out as well. the reality is clearly many of the people that want to leave will not be able to. especially with the august 31 deadline, that is fast approaching, and given what happened yesterday, the u.s. government will try to accelerate these -- accelerate
these evacuation processes even more. beyond august 31, you will have a lot of people in afghanistan that will try to get out and will try to go to bordering countries like iran and pakistan, which have been letting people in. this two countries hosted more afghan refugees than any other country. many will try to go to europe. many will try to come to the united states. it is unclear how the taliban will deal with that issue. the taliban has already said it does not want afghans to leave and that they are safe in afghanistan. clearly a lot of the population does not agree with that sentiment. host: what does the fall of afghanistan mean for pakistan? guest: i think pakistan sees this as a blessing and a curse. they have a long-standing relationship with the taliban. it helped establish the taliban. over the years, they provided a lot of backing to the taliban,
particularly housing and hosting leaders in providing medical facilities for wounded fighters. in the past, it provided a lot of military assistance as well. it was a taliban sponsor. on one level, it is a strategic victory for pakistan, that the taliban is now in control in afghanistan. pakistan has long had a strategic goal of seeing the government in afghanistan that is firmly to pakistan. and there has not been that since 2001. what is a problem for pakistan which is a concern is the taliban's victory has had a galvanizing effect on militants in the region come on terrorists in the region. just because, for so many islamic militants, the idea of u.s. forces being expelled after occupying and also the militants that expelled those forces
taking power hugely galvanizing. some of the anger at the u.s. forces is what allowed this to be established. the pakistan and tableau -- and taliban is not related to the afghan taliban. this is a terrorist organization that has been galvanized by what the taliban in afghanistan has been able to do. pakistan will worry that the pakistani taliban will be inspired by what the taliban and afghanistan did and will be prompted to carry out attacks inside of pakistan. there was a theory between 2007 and 2014 that the packet out -- pakistani taliban were staging horrific attacks for a period of time. it has been weakened in recent years after pakistani counterterrorism offenses, but it has shown signs of resurgence in recent months. i think that will get more implemented now from this taliban victory in afghanistan.
there are security risks for the pakistani state. over the years, the pakistanis have had leverage over the taliban in afghanistan because they provided sanctuary and assistance to taliban fighters. now that the taliban have afghanistan, it does not need the sanctuary of pakistan anymore. if it is not fighting its war for now, it does not need to look for pakistan on military support and so on. pakistan could well lose leverage over the very group it has nurtured and sponsored over the years. host: talk about the region at large and your reaction to this reporting in the new york times. in the months before american forces withdrew, some 8002 10,000 g howdy fighters -- 8000 to 10,000 g howdy -- ghi -- jihadi fighters from central
asia and the northern region of russia into western china. guest: i talked about the taliban gaining victories on militants around the region and certainly in the world. certainly in recent months, one of the many reasons why the taliban was able to take over so much territory in a little time is it was getting back, getting supported by militants from around the region, and more broadly, from around the world. i think this highlights an important point when you want to talk about regional dynamics. i think that it is a very important and basic fact that most of afghanistan neighbors and key regional players are bigger rivals of the u.s.. iran, china, russia, or they are difficult partners like turkey or pakistan. i would argue much of the region is a mixed mind when it comes to the fact the u.s. has withdrawn and the taliban has taken over.
it is a strategic boost for these countries that do not want to u.s. footprint in afghanistan, but also they would not admit it publicly but many of these rivals of the u.s. quietly benefited from having this modest u.s. military presence in afghanistan just because the u.s. military was not providing 100% stability. but i think it was in a position on the ground to tackle a number of these terrorist threats that will be much more difficult to tackle when it no longer has boots on the ground. i think many of these rivals of the u.s. see the departure of u.s. forces as something that could risk increasing terrorism threats to them in the coming months. given tear point about these foreign fighters coming in, there has already been a number of foreign fighters in the afghanistan/pakistan region for years. indeed, as the taliban seemed to gain and take over more territory and now that it will
be controlling the country, you will see militants from al qaeda, isis, and central asia. there are militants around the region in many different places and they will converge on afghanistan. you have to worry afghanistan could eventually become something i can to syria where you just have so many foreign fighters flowing to it. it is certainly a troubling thought especially as the u.s. withdrawals. host: do we know how many of those jihadi fighters there are in the world or region? guest: i think there are definitely thousands for sure. host: tens of thousands? guest: absolutely. and the taliban itself has about 70,000 to 80,000 or had 70,000 to 80,000 fighters. that is just one group. the pakistani taliban has several thousand fighters that have been in afghanistan. so i don't want to talk about hundreds of thousands but tens of thousands on the whole
and several thousands at the least in the afghan and pakistani region. host: let's get to calls. chris in massachusetts, democratic color. question or -- caller. question or comment for our guest? caller: hello. in 1978, afghanistan had a secular government that respected the rights of women and the problem for the united states was this government was supported by the soviet union. so the united states decreed this government had to go and they did it by supplying arms to islamicists. basically what we are seeing now is the case of reaping what you sow. do you have any comment on that? thanks and i will take your answer offline. guest: thanks for your point. you are right. once afghanistan became
embroiled in the cold war, cold war politics, that signaled a major change for everything in afghanistan -- politics, society, culture -- they're still recovering from it. afghanistan has really been at war for more than 40 years. we talk in the united states about war that has gone on for 20 years but for afghans, it has been twice that time. you have to go back to the invasion many years ago. afghanistan has really struggled to recover. it is notable that if you look at the afghan history, the country enjoys a modicum of stability. that is when you didn't have foreign countries or foreign militaries involved, meddling covertly or physically and presently on the ground. afghanistan is trying to recover from that. i fear that even with the nato mission ending, officially you
will not have armed forces in afghanistan. i think you could see so-called new great game playing out where you have new countries across the region, not necessarily militarily, but diplomatically and otherwise trying to pursue their interests. especially if you have violent terrorism continuing to get worse if the taliban fails to consolidate power, if you have an armed resistance that comes out. there has been a small resistance so far but has not been much. if you have civil war and chaos in afghanistan, you will see different players backing those factions to help best them secure their interests. then we could be back to square one. given how difficult it will be for the taliban to gain legitimacy, you are not looking at a government that will be stable by any means. that is suggesting instability and raises the prospect of outside countries trying to
metal and do what they think they have to do -- meddle and do what they think they have to do in the country. host: our next caller, a republican. caller: hi. i wanted to know where this idea that our former president made a deal with the taliban came from. where did this originate? i did not pick it up at all during his presidency, so i wanted to know where this rumor floating around, where it might have came from. guest: i assume we're talking about former president trump here. it was very simple. president trump wanted to get out of afghanistan. he initially, when he first took office, he agreed to stay in afghanistan and announced the police -- policy that not only will re-sting more troops. after the second year of his term, he decided he wanted to get out, at all costs.
what he wanted to do before that was to gain some form of political cover for a withdrawal of forces. basically he had the former u.s. ambassador to afghanistan, he charged him with the task of negotiating an agreement with the taliban that would enable u.s. troops to get out. it resulted in an agreement in 2020 between the administration and the taliban, which entailed u.s. forces leave afghanistan, all u.s. forces leaving afghanistan may have 2021 was the deadline at the time. in return, the taliban agreed not to attack u.s. forces anymore, especially not shoot at u.s. forces as they were leaving afghanistan. that was the political cover. what trump had done was commitment to the taliban to allow u.s. forces to leave so they would not be under fire so you would not have a saigon-like
situation so to speak. that did hold in the sense like after their agreement -- that agreement was signed between the taliban and trump administration, you did not have any u.s. combat deaths or military deaths in afghanistan until yesterday when of course isis, not the taliban, carried out these attacks that killed at least 13 u.s. servicemen. the agreement itself was controversial but did not hold the taliban to anything at all, other than to not you at u.s. forces. it was supposed to deny space to al qaeda, to prevent it from attacking the u.s.. it did not expect anything else from the taliban. it was also an agreement that did not allow the afghan government to be involved, which ties between the trump administration and kabul. as a result, the result -- the afghan government was forced to
do things it was never forced to do like release afghan prisoners and so on. so your answer to that question, that agreement was meant to get u.s. troops out in a way that president trump could say look, i'm bringing our troops home and we are going to get them out safely and they will be out and we will move onto the next thing. host: on the screen right now is that agreement, our producer finding this on the state department's website for our viewers. it says a comprehensive peace agreement is made of four parts is what it says. doesn't say anything in there that the taliban could attack the afghani government and to control? guest: this is the problem. the agreement did not really constrain the taliban from doing anything. it did not say the taliban had
to declare a cease-fire or reduce violence. it said nothing about what the taliban could or could not do in regards to fighting against afghan forces. there had been separate parts of the agreement, not written form, which i believe you posted for your viewers. there were these anecdotes that were never released to the public. those components of nonpublished parts of the agreement did entail a believe the taliban agreeing not to enter and fight in cities. it did hold to that until the last few weeks when of course it did enter cities and sees all of these capitals-- ceize all of these capitals. that did not expect anything from the taliban and was not a peace agreement. many called it a surrender agreement because the u.s. is saying we are leaving. let us leave and do not shoot on the way out. one thing the agreement did not do is dictate there would be peace negotiations. what it did do was set after the
agreement was signed, there would be the beginnings of an afghan dialogue, which was meant to be negotiations between the afghan government and political stakeholders and the taliban leading to a peace deal. but that did -- that agreement did not stipulate anything. it said now is the time for taliban to have negotiations with the afghan government but not much more than that. indeed, that's a dialogue did not get very far at all. the two sides never agreed on an agenda for negotiations. there's been a lot of talk about how this was a very flawed agreement. host: edward in cleveland, ohio, independent. caller: how are you? host: good morning. caller: good morning. host: go ahead, edward. caller: why did we release 5000 afghani prisoners we gathered
over the course of 20 years then sit down and make another decision of releasing the cofounder of the taliban and then inviting them to camp david , excluding afghani representatives and afghani government? guest: so there are several different things at play here. one indeed you had several thousand taliban prisoners that had been released in afghanistan over the last year or so. it was not the u.s. doing it, it was the afghan government doing that. as i said before, that was because the agreement the trump administration signed with the taliban stipulated that you have a set number of taliban prisoners released. this is just a terrible thing for the governments in afghanistan to face because it was not absorbed in the
negotiations, it never agreed to release these prisoners. i should say many of these prisoners that the afghan government had to release where the worst of the worst. these were not the more moderate taliban. these are some of the most heartened fighters. you also had taliban members who had been in guantanamo -- at the guantanamo detention facility for a place and time. a number of them had been -- a place in time. a number of them had been released. one of them was named on the defense minister, may be on an acting basis, it may not be permanent. these are very bad guys. i think it gets to the fact that, for donald trump, there was such a strong desire to leave afghanistan, which is understandable. i know the war had become recently unpopular in the united states, but his administration was willing to do a lot of things in retrospect that
appeared to be quite reckless in order to get that agreement with the taliban to allow u.s. forces to leave smoothly. it is having major conditions for the afghan that the u.s. doesn't have to deal with because they're on the way out. host: how an caller, democratic -- our next caller, democratic color. -- caller. caller: i was just going to ask about biden when he was vice president with obama. how many leaders release are back in action? my condolences to the soldiers killed. guest: i don't know the specific figures but there is indication you had a number of afghans who had been detained in guantanamo and imprisoned in afghanistan that first returned to the battlefield and did all kinds of things there. more recently, you see some of these folks, specifically a
guantanamo detainee, who will be the acting defense minister. i think there is a broader point that there have been these expressions of hope from washington and other key capitals that this new taliban government will be inclusive and have a lot of different individuals that are not necessarily taliban leaders or supporters. but you have these hardened militants who will be defense minister and the leaders of a network, a pretty brutal faction of the taliban, one of them is in charge of security in kabul right now. there are indications another, leader will be one of the top three people in the 12-man leadership council the taliban will have to lead its government. i think we all know what that network is, implicated in some of the most horrific mass
casualty attacks in afghanistan over the recent years, including many targeted with military forces of americans. i think it is troubling to think of what this taliban will look like once it formally takes power sometime in the 31st of august -- around the 31st of august. host: what does this mean for iran? guest: iran has a complex relationship with the taliban. by definition it is certainly a rival because the taliban is a sunni muslim organization around the state. the taliban years ago attacked iranian diplomats in afghanistan. you actually had a period of time in 2000 when iranian forces were mobilizing along the border when the taliban was in control. so the taliban went to war with the taliban let afghanistan in 2000. what we have seen with iran over the more recent years, particularly with its
relationship -- particularly as its relationship with the u.s. got worse, it started to funnel arms to the taliban. i think that's was -- that was meant to poke the u.s. in the eye and present more strength to america's rival in afghanistan. for iran, its major interest and concern is the she a muslim community in afghanistan. they are the religious minority in afghanistan, a very vulnerable community. the taliban, many of the murder. i run will wordy -- worry about their security. i think they will look to get reassurances that [indiscernible] iran does have a potential asset in afghanistan. there is a shia built militia on
afghanistan that iran cultivated to deploy to the middle east and fight in the wars there. iran has the option if things came to to reconstitute that afghan/shia militia and try to deploy to protect the shieh community. that is an advantage iran has. final point, it worries about the taliban and potential threat to the community in afghanistan but for iran, it much bigger concern is isis. it worries more about the damage that could do. i think there are similar sentiment in russia. there's a more of a willingness to tell a bait -- to tolerate the taliban and more of a concern on what isis could do. for russia, the particular concern about isis-k because while most of the membership is afghan/pakistani, you have a significant number of fighters from central asia who have
central asian states in the crosshairs and that is russia's backyard. i think it is important to highlight that for many of these regional players, isis is a bigger threat to them than the taliban is. host: in the meantime, iran, could they benefit from selling their oil to the taliban, and given sanctions that are on the country right now? guest: absolutely, yeah. i think iran has every intention of doing trade with the taliban. that remains to be seen. there will be a wait to see if it formally recognizes the taliban government before it releases that scale entree. iran, like other buyers, will not rush to make a decision on whether it formally recognizes the government. iran sees afghanistan regardless of who is in government as a key partner, achy commercial partner , because it is a bordering state. i think it looks at afghanistan
pretty strategic for space not only for trade but for connectivity projects, infrastructure projects, that type of thing. i do think iran could potentially see taliban government in afghanistan as a key trade partner. host: let's go to orchard park, republican. caller: yes. i think it is important to learn at this stage in the game how in the world we ever got involved in this mess in the first place. i would like to commend congresswoman barbara lee, the only member of the house in 2021 that has the wisdom to vote against the very broad legislation that would permit president bush to do virtually anything he wanted in afghanistan. as we all know, osama bin laden
and his band of 80 regulars were blamed for the 9/11 catastrophe. many at the time said, if that is true, let's show proof. the taliban said we will hand him over to you, mr. bush. bush showed them nothing, launched the invasion. when instead, if we really wanted to get osama bin laden and his band of 80 regulars, we could have got him with a battalion with the 82nd airborne. but as we all know, it then evolved into a 20-your war. host: let's end at that point. let's go back to history. he is -- going back in history, he is talking about 2001. what were the conversations at that point with afghanistan and who was in charge? guest: yeah, let's remember just
how tense things were after the 9/11 attacks. i would disagree with the caller. there was clear indications al qaeda and bin laden were behind the attack. bin laden was celebrating it happened, the 9/11 report, and other documents from the compound in pakistan show wearily he and others were involved in 9/11 attacks -- in the 9/11 attack. there has been disagreement in the bush administration about the best way to respond to the 9/11 attacks, but there was clear consensus something had to be done, particularly on the military level. and indeed the bush administration per much gave an ultimatum to the taliban and said give up al qaeda or we are coming for you. as was noted, the taliban did not give up al qaeda. i think that the war -- we are
talking on most 20 years since the 9/11 attack, it is easy to remember how there was strong public support among the u.s. public to do something about it and to go into afghanistan. when u.s. forces arrived and when they quickly were able to degrade the al qaeda sanctuaries and remove the al qaeda hose from power, there was a fair amount of support among the american public on what had happened. there were many that thought it was a terrible thing and we should not respond militarily to that but there was support. things went south soon after those initial u.s. goals in afghanistan were achieved. i would argue u.s. presidents have tended to frame it as counterterrorism. if you achieve the initial goals, weeding out the al qaeda sang sure early, why do you stay there -- sanctuary early, why do
you stay there? i would say one of the reasons the u.s. failed in afghanistan was it was not able to articulate the strategy and justification for why u.s. troops continued to be on the ground fighting, dying, when the initial objective were achieved -- objectives were achieved. i think it is difficult to win on the battlefield if you do not have a clear strategy guiding you. i think it is important consideration to reflect on where -- how and where things went wrong over the last 20 years. the strategy, after the goals were achieved, is a major reason why. host: joe in pittsburgh, an independent. caller: thank you for taking my call. i just had one comment and then a couple questions. first comment is i would like to see us go back -- or you go back to disseminating the calls between sections of the country instead of republican, democrat,
independent. i think that is divisive. i think people have an automatic bias when there is a counterparty on the line. on the afghanistan war, i think every war, when you end it, you have to release prisoners or detainees. i do not think that should have been a shock. as far as isis or the taliban taking over and the afghanistan army not wanting to fight, i do not think they had a lot of faith in the future. in other words, if you are a young man who has been fighting for the last 20 years, your only option is to probably fight for another 20, which is almost the rest of your life. there was no discernible future outcome for them. i think that is why they failed so quickly. host: let's talk about that, michael kugelman. what are your thoughts on the afghan army laying down their arms? guest: this is something many
scholars will be studying for years. i think it was building 2 that point. what we have seen -- to that point. what we have seen over the years and the last few weeks was a military that was increasingly beleaguered. the u.s. combat mission formally ended in 2014, which means u.s. put the afghan forces on the front line of fighting the taliban insurgency. they were not ready for that yet. things did not improve, and in more recent years military commanders, and foot soldiers felt they were not getting -- years, military commanders and foot soldiers felt they were not getting the support they needed. you had many not getting paid on time or not getting paid at all. things got so bad in the last few months with the cases of the afghan troops not having food and water. so then, when president biden made his decision or
announcement to withdraw, i think that really took a point in the military and made it even worse. i think that is what contributed to this surprising reality that the afghan forces simply lost the will to fight. and that was something the taliban was able to exploit carefully. i think one does need to lay some blame here at afghan governments for not being in a better position to coordinate and work with military leaders to make sure that their forces are getting what they need. you had corruption that flourished on so many levels within the military because of terrible morale. it just became a chaotic thing. this is not to diminish the achievements of the afghan military. they fought like diet -- they
fought hard for many years, and lost many lives. and last for years, as the needs within the afghan military became acute and they did not get support from their government, then you look at the u.s.. the u.s. knew what was going on. all the problems i just discussed, that was known among u.s. officials. you have a special inspector general who would release reports frequently talking about corruption in the ranks of the afghan military and the fact people were not getting paid. this gave the u.s. a complex challenge. this allowed for u.s. officials to try to get more funding to get more equipment for the afghan forces. but dealing with deep-seated corruption, deep-seated morale, that is difficult for the u.s. or any country to deal with. especially when it was not getting support from its afghan partner to address that issue as well. host: where the afghan
presidents over the years just as corrupt? guest: yes. unfortunately that is the case. what is notable is the most recent president, he was well regarded by many in washington before he became president. he worked in washington at the world bank for years and published a book on post-conflict with states and how to develop post-conflict with states. he was very well-informed and he did, soon after he took office, he promised to engage in number of anticorruption measures. he made progress to an extent. i think not just one person can address these deep-seated, structural levels of corruption. at the end, based on reports we heard about the president during his last few days in power, this is something that's according to a number of reports that have been put out there, someone that fled afghanistan with a huge amount of money. it is unclear where the money came from, but it seems in the
end, he was following along the pattern of post-taliban presidents and -- excuse me, governments and leaderships that were in place after the taliban one who are corrupt. this was another reason why the taliban was able to capitalize on public anger. particularly in rural areas with local communities disgusted by local government officials and they thought they were terrible. they thought anything would be an improvement, even a brutal resurgence you like the taliban. i think that highlights the degree of dysfunction and problems within these governments that's where leading afghanistan since 2001. host: kelly clemens, north carolina, republican. caller: hi. thank you for taking my call. first, i would like to offer my condolences to all of the
families of the soldiers who had fallen yesterday. i have a couple comments. i would like to say first there was a very important reason that president trump had picked may 1 to withdraw our shoulders. that was that that particular time was ramadan this year. during that time, the taliban would not have fought. he knew that. that is why he picked may 1. i believe biden knew that too, but he switched it to the fighting season. we do not know why he did that. host: let's take that point. guest: that is an interesting point. i had not heard that interpretation for the may 1 deadline. it is true that we have had, as i said, over 40 years of war in
afghanistan, there had been cases where the taliban agreed to cease fire for a few days to coincide with the holiday that happened just some months ago earlier this year. i do not know the specific reason why may 1 was decided for the deadline, but i think the idea, for the trump administration, was less on a specific date but more on taliban commitment not to go after forces. i do not necessarily thick the trump administration or any administration would have trusted the taliban not to attack u.s. forces at any one time or the other. i think the bigger idea is get the agreement with the taliban to ensure whatever day, whatever the deadline was for u.s. forces to withdraw, that they would not be targeted. indeed that did not happen. had president and reelected, i
imagine he probably would have accelerated the withdraw. i imagine he probably would have want to gotten all of u.s. troops out of afghanistan well before may 1. that seemed to be the track he was on. anyway, that is all there. host: about this agreement we talked about earlier, did the trump agreement with the taliban mention the safe evacuation of the afghans that help the united states? guest: it did not. the agreement was focused on what the u.s. was trying to get, and that was assurances from the taliban that they would not go after the u.s. and also assurances the taliban would prevent al qaeda from plotting attacks on u.s. forces or americans in afghanistan or anywhere. there was nothing about afghans at all in the agreement. as i said before, the agreement did not call for the taliban to
stop attacking afghans, afghan soldiers, afghan civilians, nothing along those lines. it said nothing about the afghans that worked with u.s. military forces. it was narrowly focused on immediate u.s. goals. as i said before, what it did do, what the agreement did do was called on the taliban to open up a dialogue, negotiations -- a negotiation with the afghan government. that was it. there was nothing in there so far as i know that related to the status of afghani's. -- afghanis. host: jim in mckees rocks. an independent. caller: i just wanted to know if after americans evacuate afghanistan, will we be able to return sometime like we did in vietnam? guest: in terms -- it depends on what you mean militarily --
return militarily. there's a lot of volatility with afghanistan. it is hard to know what will happen. in terms of u.s. intentions in afghanistan after the evacuations are completed on august 31, i think at that point, the main u.s. focus will turn to dealing with the terrorism problem. even before the attacks yesterday, that was going to be a major goal of the biden administration, to try to strengthen the over the horizon counterterrorism, including monitoring the location movements of al qaeda and isis terrorists in afghanistan without boots on the ground. the u.s. was unable to get any agreements with countries bordering afghanistan that would allow u.s. forces to use bases in boarding countries and springboard their surveillance operations or counterterrorism activity.
it will have to depend on existing military solely in the arab/gulf region. it will be tough. president biden has up the stakes and put a lot of pressure on him now, given what happened yesterday with a loss of 13 u.s. servicemen, and given his promise to go after isis in afghanistan. that's will be very difficult in a constrained capacity that the u.s. will have given it will not have boots on the ground anymore. that's will be the focus. keep in mind, when resident biden announced his decision to withdraw from afghanistan, he made the decision in part because his decision the u.s. focus on other bigger priorities like the rivalry with china, climate change, terrorism threats elsewhere in the world. despite what has happened over the last few days, i think that is not going to change the administration's plan.
i think they want to move on and focus on other things. i really do not see this administration wanting to engage with afghanistan beyond the counterterrorism angle. i do not anticipate it recognizing the new government because it would look for assurances from the taliban that they would not provide, particularly on humans rights, women's rights, things like that. the taliban will not respect those rights. it is not what its ideology is about. i hope in due course things will be in a position of stability where you could have americans that want to go to afghanistan go there. we are a long point from that now. for reasons i mentioned earlier, i think there's a chance we could see increasing levels of instability in the coming months, especially if the taliban fails to consolidate its power and terror groups like isis carry out attacks. that could lead to a lot more violence and even chaos.
the last thing the afghan people deserve -- because they have been experiencing war for more than 40 years. host: our next caller, democratic caller. we lost the color. next caller, -- caller. the next caller, a republican. good morning. caller: can you hear me. host: yes we can. caller: yesterday left me feeling the very much way i did during 9/11. i felt like this was a redo of that event. it is so tragic and despicable in every way. the hardest part about this for me is to listen to people like yourself describe plans by president trump. he is not the person in office, biden is the person in office. given his track record of reversing everything within from
president trump, i can really think in my mind that whatever the plan was, may first, august 1, regardless, he reversed it out of whatever his ideas that everything had to be the opposite. this mistake, this gigantic military mistake, this human rights mistake lays at his feet and this administration's feet. they had intelligence and they knew better, but they did stupid things. you cannot intellectualize what happened here. host: ok, ashley. let's get a response. michael kugelman, what you think? -- do you think? guest: i think there are so many things president trump and president biden do not agree on. i would agree they see i to i on afghanistan. both wanted to get out. -- eye to eye on afghanistan.
both wanted to get out. biden inherited this agreement that trump signed with the taliban, calling for people to be out may 1. that put him in a tough spot. there was, as i understand it, a detailed come prensa policy review on the administration side on what to do, whether to forget about the agreement or to essentially honor it or what. in the end, i think president biden decided he did not want to stay in afghanistan longer so he would do what he could to ensure there would be a withdraw not by may 1, because he needed more time to prepare to be orderly and responsible, but he wanted a few more months, which he got. indeed, i certainly would agree with the caller's criticism to an extent that it was not the decision to withdraw that has gotten us to where we have been over the last 10 days but how the decision was executed. the execution was botched.
i think that is clear. what the biden administration failed to do was anticipate what clearly was the most unlikely outcome, which was for the taliban to actually take over afghanistan before the withdrawal was complete. that is what led to the chaos because the u.s. did not have enough time to plan for orderly evacuations, so on and so forth. clearly the administration did a lot of scenarios after they made the decision to withdraw. i'm sure they decided how it would carry out evacuations under different circumstances. clearly it did not give enough attention to the one that actually happened, the worst-case one. if the administration did not have to scramble so much and move quickly to get so many people out, you would not have had the chaos at the airport, not have had the huge crowds. he would not have had the conditions that isis was ready to take advantage of. indeed the poor execution of the
withdraw is a big reason why we have been where we have been at over the last few days. i'm not saying isis would not have staged an attack if the withdrawal had been carried out in a more orderly fashion. that is not the case at all. i'm saying given the biden administration did not properly plan for an execution under this very unexpected circumstance, that created the conditions that isis was able to fully take advantage of. tremendous respect for u.s. forces and other nato forces that were out there trying to provide whatever security they could, trying to help afghans the best they could, and they knew they were at risk. the terrorist threats had been there for quite some time. the biden administration was public about this. everyone in the airport or outside of the airport they were potentially vulnerable. that is the tragedy of so many of these people, including those
inside. they knew they were at great risk and continue to do what they do, and that deserves a lot of praise and credit. host: michael kugelman, here's a viewer on twitter. does the constant televised attention of the u.s. withdraw help or hurt the taliban? guest: certainly it hurts and i think the taliban has been getting some propaganda victories over the last few months. the day biden decided to withdraw -- going back to when the trump administration signed the agreement with the taliban and the taliban leaders were standing next to mike pompeo, you had president trump having at least one phone call with taliban leaders. that means the taliban and legitimacy -- the taliban had the legitimacy that they did. i think as the situation became increasingly chaotic at the airport, all of these images unfortunately provided a huge
propaganda victory to the taliban. we talk so often about the taliban didn't change at all or it is as it has been in the 1990's. it has not changed its ideology but it has change the way it uses media and social media. it knows when it entered the presidential palace of kabul several days ago and it had those pictures taken, it that would really fire up supporters and would fire up other regional militants. they have been able to exploit that. when you see these terrible images of afghans clinging onto u.s. aircrafts taking off at the kabul airport, this all play so well for the taliban. it is one propaganda victory after the other. this is really an unfortunate thing and i think it attributes to the strategic defeat and really the policy failures the u.s. effort in afghanistan. host: we will go to indiana, democrat caller.
brenda, good morning. caller: good morning. first, i want to address the woman in florida who wanted to know how the rumor got started a donald trump negotiated a peace deal with the taliban. it has been all over the news, there were pictures of pompeo and taliban leaders and cutter in early 2020 negotiating this peace deal. so lady, it was not a rumor. get your head out of the sand. my question has not been asked. donald trump was president of the united states when he made this great peace deal with the taliban. they were not going to shoot at american troops during the withdrawal. so why didn't donald trump, then-president, start the drawdown under these peaceful circumstances? i suspect he did not do it because he did not want the optics of the last couple weeks
on his watch because he already had bad optics of the turkish/syrian border retreat when our kurdish allies got slaughtered. guest: i really think that president trump was willing to move forward with the withdraw more quickly than his trusted advisors were willing to. there had been news reports over the last few days of december of his administration, before his term was up, where he was trying to push for a full withdrawal of u.s. forces but others pushed back against that. president trump wanted to get out. that was clear. i think, as i said earlier, if he was reelected, he would have pushed for accelerated withdraw and would have wanted it done well before may 1. you could argue that would not
have been the case. maybe that would not have given as much time for the taliban to carry out defenses and sees the provincial capital. in other words, his administration would have been able to avoid the chaotic scenes, but there is no easy way to undertake evacuations. no matter what has happened or who is an office in the white house, no matter when the final withdrawal deadline would be, there would be many afghans in the country that wanted to leave. obviously, the best way to do that is start the evacuations much more in advance or less close to the withdrawal deadline for sure. again, it gets to the issue of the administration not being able to anticipate the taliban was sees power while the withdraw -- seize power while the withdraw was taking place. no one expected things to move so quickly or the taliban to seize power so quickly. i think that goes to the factor
of under appreciating how deep and serious the weaknesses of the afghan states were in the sense the military would collapse. i think that is an important factor too. host: michael kugelman, what are you watching for in the coming days? guest: i'm looking to see what the taliban government looks like. on the 31st, it will formally establish its government. i will be looking to see -- we know all of these bad guys will be in high positions, but i will be waiting to see if they will have some non-taliban leaders. there are non-taliban leaders quite prominent. it sounds like they may be asked to join the government. if the taliban does allow in some folks like that, that is suggesting a slight degree of moderation. we will have a better sense of after the government is established. i will see how the tableau been -- taliban deals with the
economic crisis in afghanistan. this is a group that does not do governance well. it is not known for having well policies. if it does not deal with the economic crisis soon, things could fire out of control. you could have spontaneous expressions of opposition and things could get -- looking at how the taliban handles these policy challenges, keeping in mind it does not have expanse with governance, that is what i will be looking for. host: michael kugelman is the deputy director for the wilson center. we appreciate the conversation. thank you. guest: thank for having me. host: we will go back now to listening to all of you and you letting washington know what to think about the fall of afghan and that attack at the couple airport yesterday. republicans, democrats, independents, there is a line on your screen. text us with your first name, city, and state to (202)
748-8002. go to --(202) 748-8003. go to facebook.com/cspan and post your comments there or post on our twitter handle at @cspanwj. we spoke to members of congress and got their reaction to what happened in afghanistan yesterday. before we get to your calls, listen to what representative student while, a member of the foreign affairs committee, listen to what she had to say about afghanistan. >> i think it goes without saying i am gutted as most of g. tragic, devastating. i had no inkling that it was going to be of this magnitude and it was just tragic. host: the president extends that deadline in four days, all of
the personnel. >> i have modified my thanksgiving -- my thinking on this. everything that i'm hearing now including information. it appears that we don't have that option -- information, it appears we don't have that option. getting our troops out depends on corporation of the tele-band -- the taliban and they are not going to cooperate with us beyond august 31. absolute in his statements that
august 31 was it. that's unfortunate, but i suspect that's the reason behind this decision. host: what did you learn from your colleagues who took -- >> they told the story of the heroic job that our troops are doing at the airport. this is no sort of -- the way we are accustomed to doing it in american airports and woman got through security and that kind of thing. not that at all. mingle with, touch, pat down and expose themselves to horrific danger just as we learned yesterday. that was the circumstances of the attack yesterday so i learned that. i also learned without citing
any of their confidential sources that there is no more move -- there no move on the part of the taliban and extending our deadline. we are dependent on them or at least their corporation to get us -- cooperation to get us out of that country as soon as possible. that was broken down with what happened yesterday which undoubtedly was an isis k attack. ill-equipped to protect our troops and our people on that kind of attack or there was some sort of concert of action. i'm not going to say because i don't know, but i think we have to get out of there. host: as a member of the foreign affairs committee, what is the ramification of yesterday and the withdrawals for the region?
guest: the region is in dire straits. but we seem to be witnessing and we will learn much more on the foreign affairs committee is that the united states has been up a society in a government and army of afghans that quite honestly could not pass basic training in the united states. it's sad and i don't know whether there has been defeat from the military over the last decade. alluded to that is being a possibility. that's one of the many things we have got to find out. why this government and this
fledgling army collapsed so quickly. did they learn nothing from our people, our fine american troops there were over there determination to prop up the government and help them survive on their own once they left? we've got to find out why they collapsed so quickly. that's one of the many things we need to find out. we also need to ask a lot of questions about our exit strategy. everything that has transpired over the last year leading up to this and why the first day of the evacuation was such a disaster and now yesterday was such a disaster. host: should speaker pelosi bring congress back? guest: i am ready, willing and able on a moments notice. i think my colleagues feel the same way.
the problem is this. the only point to coming back right now would be to start to conduct these earrings. we can't take action to force the commander-in-chief to take certain steps. it's not within our power. we have the power to authorize military action and wars, but we don't have the power to ask the president to extend deadlines or force him to. the only reason to come back would be to start having these hearings, which i'm anxious to do, but at the same time the people that we need to hear from are very busy. they are doing this mission that is even more important than congress getting the answers we need. the answer is he should call us
back at the earliest possible moment that we can get to work. our power of oversight is absolutely essential to exercise . there's no point in calling us back and trying to demand the military leaders who are actively engaged in the process come testify before congress. that's not their most important role right this minute. host: congresswoman, thank you. representative susan
wilde from earlier this morning. we are asking you to ask -- to let washington know what you think about the follow-up afghanistan and those deadly attacks at the kabul airport that killed 13 service members. injured and wounded 18 americans and many many afghan citizens. your reaction to that yesterday coming up. the white house is sending out
this information this morning. from 3:00 a.m. yesterday to 3:00 a.m. today at approximate 12,005 hundred people were evacuated from kabul. 8500 evacuees and 54 coalition flights carried approximately 4000 people. since the end of july, we have relocated approximately 110,000 6
-- 110,600 people. democratic color. what did you think yesterday when you heard the news? caller: i was not surprised. i think that war is very messy. the fog of war and trained to leave after 20 years and when
the afghan military and government realized that united states made a deal with the taliban, it was probably very disheartening to them and they probably lost a lot of will to fight. they are basically, we are going to deal with the taliban not the afghan government. the afghan government was much less likely to feel that we had there back so i understand that. my concern though is every single death is tragic. when we are going on and on in the media, don't forget corporate media is also very tied into the industrial complex and money. the member that when we keep hearing all of these, oh my god. we had 260 one covid deaths in texas yesterday. we had 901 deaths in florida.
we had 13 combat deaths in kabul . i think we need to keep things in perspective. it's all terrible, but we need to realize that we are fighting a war on a virus that is killing many more people that this withdrawal. i'm very happy with withdrawal and i'm sad that it's messy. i'm not surprised. host: washington times headline deadliest day in a decade. at president biden pledging to hunt down the isis k terrorists that are taking credit for those bombings at the airport. caitlin collins who covers the white house reporting president biden and vice president harris are meeting with their national security team right now in afghanistan. -- right now on afghanistan.
republican, good money to you. caller: how you doing today? host: when you heard the news yesterday, what did you think? caller: i'm not surprised. the leading force of the government made a deal with the taliban. yes they did. taliban security stopped and let the bomber walked straight through. but don't check -- but they will check people with paper in their hands. don't trust none of them. guess what? in my 58 years of living in this country, this is by far the worst president. that was the worst i've ever seen. if you want to have a military drawdown, do it the right way. do not take your personnel out
and then put them back in. you just showed your whole hand and now you don't have no clout, no pool. nothing to put all that nothing up over top of them and call them down. $84 million, 80 $4 billion worth of our equipment sitting there. now we armed the taliban, isis, and who else? china, russia? the democrat owners -- democrat voters on this one. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. can you hear me? host: we can. go ahead. caller: i would just like to pivot this and say that people keep saying the government in afghanistan have fallen so quickly. it was known to be a very corrupt government.
the government in many places in the world, particularly the ones that are not the western nations, have such corruption that it's built into the way they live. they'll used to bribing for everything. accumulating what they can. cultures are cultures. afghanistan was so corrupt in its government, the people did not believe in it. some people don't fight hard for what they don't believe in whereas the taliban, terrible and they have, but they see it as a religious commitment so they are motivated. we just have to realize that corruption is very corrosive to any company, any country.
not that we don't have corruption in the worst and world. -- in the western world. people have to understand that governments that are corrupt just don't get the support of their people. host: joining us on the phone now am a republican of nebraska. a veteran himself. congressman, when you are the news yesterday would do you think? >> caller: i was heartbroken. i've had to go the 10 different people's homes and we see the utter heartbreak and pain. i realized last night, there's going to be notifications being made. i cannot imagine a mom or dad or spouse getting those words. it's heartbreaking.
it will last a lifetime. the pain never goes away. host: do you think that this was preventable? or if this part of the possibility when you are withdrawing from a conflict like this after 20 years? guest: i will look at it from two vantage points. i think it was preventable and the plan has been very botched. to withdraw our troops with before we withdrew the civilians and special immigrant visas, the interpreters. we just did things in a way it does not make sense. i call it a botched operation. we are at the airport in kabul. it's a very vulnerable spot. you have 1500 americans trying to get out.
you have also these interpreters trying to get out. taliban thetaliban -- the taliban at checkpoints are turning people away. it's vulnerable after the 31st from the taliban. we are in a very vulnerable position. i think our service is in a tough situation. we've got to get out 1500 people. this is joe biden's responsibility. built a plan that put us in this spot. host: what you say to those who argue that, and the president said it, that he inherited this russian mark that president trump made this peace agreement with the taliban and deemed it that shed in that agreement, it consisted of asking the taliban
knots to fire on the united states will we withdraw. there was nothing about negotiating with the afghans that was to take place after the u.s. withdrew. guest: i criticize president trump negotiations. i thought it was wrong not to have a government of afghanistan is part of these negotiations. about the timeline was unreasonable. in the national defense authorization act, the bipartisan matter the republicans and democrats passed an amendment that for bid president trump from withdrawing truck -- troops out of afghanistan unless he came back to the committee showing conditions. subsequently, the president trump vetoed and we over wrote the veto. joe biden, he has the same restriction and he decided to ignore them. except for financial security reasons, he was going to ignore the law.
i get angered that president biden does not take response ability or accountability here. he blames president trump. i disagree with president trump and some of the negotiations, but in the end it was joe biden took the plan, made the changes he wanted, it was his execution of this strategy. this is all on him. we can produces -- week criticize president trump for the negotiation, but joe biden, this is his plan. host: he says that the military was 100% behind this plan. what is your reaction to hearing that? guest: if that's the case, there are some people who need to be resigned or fired. that's not what i heard on tuesday when i was in washington dc. i heard the senior leadership of the intelligence committee recommended against a rampant withdrawal and it was the state department and ambassadors and negotiators who were on the
other side of this debate that joe biden eventually agreed to. we don't know what the actual truth is. we are not in the inner circles. this is a botched operation. the worst debacle in our generation. the worst and our history. whoever gave him the bad advice and bad plants, they should be fired or they should be fired or they should resign. that's the bad plans, they should be fired or they should resign. host: back to your calls. concorde, north carolina. republican color. what do you tell the decision-makers about afghanistan? caller: i think they made a mistake. you gotta understand. for 20 years of our lives in afghanistan. we had, beginning to get its wings. we were propping it up. our forces were keeping the
peace there. we gave up a great that we built for who, i don't know. give them money and everything else and turn their back on the people. now the president owes an explanation. all the lives that he has taken from people. he should be held accountable for this. him and the whole democratic party turned their back on america. they have let the floodgates open. we are bringing people in from the south, not being tested. they are trying to say it's the delta variant, but they are not saying we are getting 40% of the people from our border. host: we will stick to afghanistan this morning. taylorsville, kentucky. jerry, when did you serve and where? caller: i served during the 80's
and it ashamed they want to blame everybody when we would over the first time. you can blame the past prompt -- past presidencies. obama. why didn't he take care of this problem? we were over there then. you free the people of that country and you sweep the country again to make sure they are gone. it is inevitable for all of us, but it's coming. we are going to have another pearl harbor if we don't watch out. host: bowling green, kentucky. democratic color. caller: good morning. -- host: democratic caller. caller: i think it was handled the worst that it could've been handled. i voted for biden.
i will not make that mistake again. he has caused us problems that will haunt us for years. that's all i have to say on it. i'm sure i'm not the only democrat out there who has -- who is never going to vote for democratic party again. host: ajay in memphis tennessee, independent. caller: good morning. my comment is that part of this conversation is i have not heard anything about the united states involvement with the opiate trade in afghanistan. the united states took more than $8 billion of the last 15 years to deprive the taliban of their profit opiate and trade and try to regulate the poppies plant
and that strategy failed. if the taliban is going to remain in power, you take a source of income. the irony is that the united states realized the pharmaceutical companies in the united states. we are in a situation where about we are trying to withdrawal, but we are also trying to make profit. i would like c-span to do a show on the opiate trade and involvement of afghanistan in this war. that is the reason why we are there. host: republican. caller: everyone from the gentleman before me all the way back to the congressman have such valid points. every president from bush, obama, trump, now biden. every one of them had an opportunity to do the right thing.
i just more and for all of the loss yesterday. --mourn for all of the loss yesterday. i do not understand why biden did not have a better exit plan. this is a debacle, chaos. right now, it lays at biden's feet. i hope they find a safe, secure way to get our americans out of their and the afghans that help us. thank you, i pray for this chaos to end safely. thank you. host: sandy in indianapolis, independent. caller: i really appreciate your show. appreciate all the different calls and opinions. it is very complex. i have a nugget talking about corruption and the pot washington politics.
i find it curious that the former president of afghan that ran off, his son works on the campaign and elizabeth warren's campaign. just an interesting mix of people. it makes me wonder how much more so that sort of thing goes on. it's an interesting nugget. host: pueblo, colorado. democrat collar. caller: good morning, american. host: democratic call. er caller: -- democratic caller. caller: good morning, america. would john wayne used to circle the wagon, he should have all
the highways leading into kabul. he should have the majority of the troops and cap the taliban out of -- kept the taliban out of kabul. gomer powell does gomer pyle was leading the troops -- -- gomer pyle was leading the troops anew should be higher. host: -- >> we have some sense like many of you do, what the families of these brave heroes are feeling today, you did this feeling like you are getting sucked into a black hole. the middle of your chest. there's no way out. my heart aches for you. i know this. we have a continuing obligation.
a sacred obligation to all of you. the families of those heroes, and obligation is not temporary. it lasts forever. the lives lost, they were lives given in the service of liberty. the service of security. the service of others. the service of america. like their follow lesh their fellow brothers and sisters -- like their fellow brothers and sisters, the following this day were part of a great and noble company of american heroes. to those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes america harm know this. we will not forgive. we will not forget.
we will hunt you down to make you pay. i will defend our interests and our people with every measure of my command. host: mary, florida, democratic caller. caller: i am so deeply saddened. thank you for this opportunity to let me speak. we have everyone pointing the finger at our great president biden. the american people have spoken. they wanted the war to be open -- to be over. of course, they are messy. i do not want to media, cs nbc, cnn, fox, all of them. they have politicized this and i
am very upset. we need to all band together now and be supportive of our troops, the people that helped us in afghanistan, and i'm getting highly upset of this rhetoric going on. i would like it to stop. we need to be patriotic just like we were back in world war ii. we need to get together fellow americans, not to keep blaming. let us please stick together. stop this insanity, and it starts with the media. i appreciate c-span because you are fair and balanced. the rest of them are great -- are getting worse and it needs to stop. thank you. host: as mary was talking, we
were showing you the flag at half staff for the fallen yesterday. 13 u.s. service members, over 90 afghans who were killed by those blasts. lawrence in florida, independent. caller: i'm in agreement with the lady that just spoke. i think it's terrible. if we don't stop, it's going to get worse. i remember when i was active duty in the marine corps, they sent us to a place that had a problem. major problem. they sent us down the middle of the street with rebels shooting. across the street to the government troops and the government troops to their rebels. they sent us down the middle of the street without weapons in our hands and no ammunition. shot up 30 of us. some people never learn.
as american citizens, we are not allowed to work this earth to protect our own lives much less our own country. who we are overseas again doing the same thing we did in vietnam, with the same kind of people that would leave the battlefield at 5:00 and leave it up to us because when i went to vietnam, the first thing they told us. leave at 5:00. we are only 200 something years old, this country. we are dealing with countries that are thousands of years old. you think those people don't know what to do? we are a bunch of suckers to them. we are the new kid on the block. you know how that is. the new kid on the block. you know what he goes through, right? thank you. host: danny, arizona, republican. caller: the morning. my thoughts and prayers are with
the families and the military that lost their lives yesterday. this was terrible. i don't know what us to say about that. i have one thing to say and that is president trump got impeached on a phone call, a clean phone call. if this not impeachable, i don't know what is. thank you so much for taking my call. host: mark in california says his recent tragedy showing the results of meddling in that region on the other side of the earth the last 30 years. all of the innocent lives we have ruined over the years have created many enemies who will never forgive us. jane and pineville, louisiana, democratic caller. caller: concerning this debacle
that happened a couple of days ago, these same trump followers that's blasting biden followed followed donald trump the dictator making deals with pooping and the rest -- making deals with putin and people following him like minds. all you have to say is republicans and they are on the bandwagon whether they are right or wrong. the fact that the ones that tried to overthrow the government and all these people that's thinking it's all right, you all ate patriots pick -- you all are not patriots. you are traitors. some of us seeing exactly what you are doing. it's a shame. host: ellen who writes for the
post tweeting out a link to her article as well as this. a deal with the afghanistan wives, u.s. forces are perp -- are preparing for more attacks. general kenneth mckenzie, the commander had his briefing yesterday talked about screenings and how they are done at the airport in kabul. >> this is close up war. the person you are searching is upon you. we still have to touch the close of the person that is coming in. i think you all can appreciate the courage and dedication that is necessary to do this job. to do it time after time. please remove a that we have screened over 104 -- 104,000 people. host: frank in west virginia,
independent. good morning. caller: good morning. what i've got say is why did biden and them leave that military stuff over there? especially if they know those going to be handing it over to the taliban? the things that have done have done nothing but hurt american people. if u.s. me, they don't care nothing about the united states. host: david -- david, texas, republican. caller: let me bring up a couple of things. it's all related to the same thing. it was horrible, had we kept instead of trying to get everybody out through that
airport. it was impossible. semi said earlier -- somebody said earlier, keep the taliban from shooting at american troops. there were 13,000 troops when trump started. he got it down to 2500. he drew down to the lowest number since forever. nobody talks about the fact that is not about 2500 troops. now you have thousands of troops as well as almost 10,000 troops. there were until days ago. watch the movie 13 hours. the guys that were protecting the cia were contractors. a lot of these guys were xc. there were guys to help -- these guys weree --ex seals.
the u.k., germany and france were upset because they were not consulted before hand what biden was doing. nobody knew that he had instructed americans to leave. that was the straw that broke the camels back as far as afghans work in saint -- afghans were concerned. the air support when away because the contractors were taking care of all the planes. all of a sudden, they don't have air support. this thing has been so botched. the preliminary withdrawal was may 1. that was before the summer fighting season. how many times as you listen to any of the coverage you heard lots of people criticize biden's plan.
when you've got maximum taliban activity going on. he did not have to set an absolute date. trump did not have a date. he had wild the way from one set of talks in the first place. they were in violation of two of the three items at the point where biden was taking -- was taken into office anyway. biden canceled everything under the sun so this is the only agreement he is going to go by? he announces a withdraw date of september 11. he was shooting for political optics. he said a september 11 date. they got so much criticism to change it to august 31 which was
still on 9/11 be able to say he had a truce. -- he had our troops out. i've been listening to reporting in europe and such and i think a better plan would have been to keep a residual force there. the afghans have been known to fight. they have had post 27 -- there is no such thing as over the horizon. you can't fly manned aircraft in the area when you don't have anybody to go after a downed pilot. host: pennsylvania, democratic caller. caller: thanks for taking my call. i'm really distressed for my country. i don't know where it's going anymore. we've lost americans. we've lost a lot of americans. 12 is a lot.
where is the sympathy for them? where is the concern for them? we have galloped off into i've got to defend this, i've got to defend this. one politician is even rallying saying i'm going to get donations. send money to me and i will keep this from happening to me again. i'm sorry. monday morning quarterbacking is not that easy. world war ii, we put all of our ships into pearl harbor. i'm sure there was an outcry about that. thank god we had our aircraft carriers at sea. what if that had happened? we rallied around that. we came back. i'm not hearing very many people saying let's rally. let's continue on. i didn't hear any recommendations about what we
should have done better. it makes me sick. it just makes me sick. it's easy to give constructive criticism. host: virginia, independent. caller: i think this is what happens when the presidential election turns into a popularity contest and no longer is about policy. what most people are saying is the smokescreen coming up. at that was happening throughout the election campaign. my father served in the navy. he was considered a ross game -- a mustang. he retired a captain. the political game that is played at the military leadership is a joke. now we are seeing that it is with that's reckless and a disaster. as far as the equipment that was left behind, i don't think it was on accident. part of me thinks it was partly
left for the taliban to fight a proxy war against isis. i think this is also what happens when you have a media that is corrupt and they are spouting lies. the wordplay that they have is so outrageous and if you want proof, all you've got to do is take a story and look at how the various media outlets report it. look at the words that are used. that is a smokescreen. at this point not only is biden and his administration and the tops of the military leadership responsible and to carrying blood on their hands, but i really point to the media as have -- as holding blood on their hands as well. host: let's listen to the president. he was asked about his decision
about his did that about his decision to trust the taliban. >> the fact is we are in a situation, we inherited a situation. the afghan military collapsed 11 days before, in 11 days. it is in the interest of the taliban that, in fact, isis k does not possess a size -- with that's size -- we are able to leave on time, on target as a consequence the major things we ask them away back the pyramid
are, give me -- the perimeter, give me more space between the wall. searching people coming through. it is not what you would call a tightly commanded, regimented operation like the u.s. off military -- the u.s. military. they are acting in their interest. by and large, i've asked this question, whether or not this useful exercise. no one trusts them. we are just counting on their self-interest to continue to generate their activities. it is in their self-interest that we leave when we said and
that we get as many people out as we can. even if anything happened today, over 7000 people we've got now and 5000 americans. it's not a matter of trust. it's a matter of mutual self-interest. host: that was the president yesterday. the leader of the republican party is tweeting out if president biden keeps the taliban imposed deadline of august 31, he will be leaving americans stranded in afghanistan and that is unacceptable. we must call congress back into session to stop the madness until every single american is safely home. louisville, kentucky. patrick. what do you say?
stephen and indianapolis, democratic caller. caller: let me say this. i'm hoping, i am a vietnam veteran. i am a democrat. i want to say this. if we had pulled out the equipment that we left behind whether it was a tank, apache helicopter, whatever. then we would not have left any weapons behind in order for this afghanistan army to use. even though we left the equipment there for them, we gave the equipment to them, they fled the scene and left the weapons behind. we did not leave any weapons behind. we brought everything out that
we wanted. i know. i withdrew from vietnam. trump is at fault. we spent over five years starting in 1970 withdrawing from vietnam. in 1975, we were still withdrawing from vietnam. pulling people off the embassy roof. please quit talking. you have no idea what the hell you are talking about. host: new jersey, independent. caller: i was just curious. biden says he does not trust the taliban and 10 minutes later he is putting the lives of all of these americans in their hands.
i had a friend who said the enemy of my enemy is my friend. i know isis and the taliban and al qaeda say they hate each other, but this is muslim and muslim and they all say they hate americans. they were chanting it on tv. i don't understand how biden can actually say that they are going to help the americans get out. for quite a while, they kept saying how many people are there. if there's 10 to 20,000 americans. now there's 5000 americans. they say there are only 1000 left? they didn't know forever and now they do. i don't understand how they didn't know, didn't know, didn't know how many people were in afghanistan, americans and now
they've got a precisely that number? i'm worried that august 31, they are not going to have the americans out. out of the 100,000 that they lifted, how many were interpreters. there are so many questions that have not been answered. what is going on? host: i think you are referring to this from the white house. they say from 3:00 a.m. yesterday to 3 p.m. today, to love people were -- people were evacuated through you -- evacuated. 35 u.s. military flights carried approximately 8500 evacuees and 54 coalition whites carried approximately 4000 people. since -- coalitionflights
carried approximately 4000 people. louisville, kentucky, republican. caller: my question is, where is vice president harris and all of this. she usually is standing side-by-side. host: she is in a overseas trip. it vietnam. caller: it's usually called the biden harris administration. i'm wondering what her take is on this. host: winston-salem, north carolina, democratic. caller: good morning. my heart goes out and i and must into the to all that is happened . the problem is they knew when this was going to happen. when president biden was running for president, this was one of the things that he was
responsible for. to pull our people back here to the u.s.. they should have been trying to get out then. there president left them. 20 years and they have not learned to take care of their own people? >> host: there's a clicking noise. moving onto lonnie. north carolina, republican. caller: i have a couple of questions to your collars and maybe you. i'm looking at it hypothetically. the trump administration left the cards --kurds. people be americans out and let the russians and turkish take over. he did not care anything about the kurds. they were killed.
their houses were tore up. now they want to talk about biden and the afghanistan people. trump did that. everybody wants to point the blame to biden. biden is only fulfilling the treaty that trump made. the blame lies with trump on his procedures and policies at that time. biden only had to fulfill the contract with afghanistan people. why is the republic act like they forgot about what they did to the kurds? aren't their lives as important as afghanistan lives? it's so hypocritical. host: yesterday, commander general mckenzie talked about the ongoing threat to the airport in kabul as evacuation's
continue today at that airport before the deadline in just four days. listen to what he said. >> list talk little bit. very real threat. very tactical. imminent, could occur at any moment. rocket attacks. we actually have pretty good protection against that. we have our anti-rocket system, gun system. they are pretty effective. we are well positioned and we feel we will be in good shape if that kind of attack occurred. they aim to get a suicide attack and if they can from a smile -- from a small vehicle to a large vehicle. a walk-in come up wearing suicide attacker. all of those things we look at. the other thing we do is we
share versions of this situation with the tele-band so that -- with the taliban so they can do some searching and we believe some attacks have been thwarted by them. we have been doing this the 14th. this is an attack that has been carried out. we think it's possible that others have been thwarted. we cut down the information that we give the taliban. we give them enough to act in time and space. be it -- the other thing we try to do is wish out the boundaries even further. we don't get large crowds at the gate. we had a larger crowd there than we would like. we have gained large elements of standoff that other gates and we want to keep that kind of standoff in place. standoff is always the best defense. we don't have the opportunity to give them the geography and the ground we are on. we take the threat of these
attacks very seriously. we are working very hard. we are doing a variety of things. we have attack helicopters on the ground that we are flying. they have very good formal and -- thermal systems. all of these systems are being applied in defense of the airfield. all on a continual basis. we also use the taliban as a tool to protect us as much as usable that as much as usable -- we used to taliban as a tool to protect us as much as usual. host: u.s. officials gave the taliban a use -- a list of names of u.s. citizens, green card holders and afghan allies to grant entry into the outer perimeter of the city's airport
prompting outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials. confirmed our story in a statement last night. in limited cases we have shared information with the taliban that was successfully facilitated evacuations from kabul. caller: not only did he, he turned us back on the american people. five americans died by him sending his to the capital. let me say this. drop supporters, -- trump supporters, to get our shoulders -- our soldiers out of afghanistan. trump had four years to build the wall. trump had four years to get you good health care. trump did none of that.
host: another quick headline before we get in a few more head -- a few more phone calls. president biden's covid ban. that is lifted now in many peoples. jeff, republican, will get in a few more calls. caller: people talk about the withdrawal. he told the people it was a blake -- blank check. he put them under conditional withdrawal. it they never met the conditions
and therefore, we have yet to withdraw. if biden was going to follow the trump plan. he should have had us already withdrawn by may 1. he did not follow through. host: at 1 p.m. today over the phone. call comes from greensboro, north carolina. independent. it welcome to the conversation. caller: i would like to say that everything is created by design. you have three leaders in 1957 that were given american scholarships. one is an american ambassador, the other is head, afghan president.
what a coincidence. everything is: -- created by design. while we are worried about refugees coming over here, you have a lot of people that will not return to work. host: brenda, charlotte north carolina, caller: we have sent some much equipment and soldiers over it there to help them so why don't they fight for their own country? host: we have to leave it there in the house is coming in for a brief session this morning. we will leave it at that and be back tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. eastern time, enjoy your day. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute,
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