tv Inside Story LINKTV August 30, 2021 5:30am-6:01am PDT
that they evacuated 3000, 2600 afghans, so the french are no longer taking part in any evaluations. the americans still are. some latest numbers here. august 15, the taliban, when kabul fell to the tele-band. the u.s. is 111,000 people in the last 13 days or so have been evacuated from afghanistan. anchor: the united nations says up to 500 people could flee the crisis by the end of the year and has -- 500,000 people could flee the crisis by the end of the year. the assassinate -- person who assassinate rfk serve 33 years for shooting kennedy in los angeles in 1968.
a kennedy family member and a security guard also shot in the attack have called for an investigation into claims that a second gunman. president biden has commended strong relations between the u.s. and israel and met with the israeli prime minister at the white house. he wants to stop the u.s. from returning to the nuclear deal with iran. emmanuel macron has arrived in baghdad, ahead of a summit to reduce tensions. he is co-organizing the talks with the iraqi prime minister. officials are expected to attend from iran. those of the headlines. stay tuned for "inside story" and i will be back at the top of the hour. bye for now. ♪
>> dozens of people are killed outside kabul's airport, as leaders have been warning of a threat. could afghanistan face more attacks, and is afghanistan up to the security challenges? this "inside story this." -- this "inside story." ♪ hello and welcome to the program. more than 100 killed, including at least 13 u.s. military personnel. many were wounded by twin bombings outside kabul's airport . it came as little surprise to many who had been warning of a security threat in the area for
days. despite that, thousands still gathered outside the airport waiting for their evacuations to be processed. the attacks happened to the entrance -- looks -- next to the entrance. the complete military withdrawal is set to complete by august for the first -- august 31. president biden has resisted the call to extend that date. the president has vowed to strike back at the attackers. president biden: 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 and make you pay. i will defend our interests and people with every measure at my command. anchor: the head of the u.s.
central command said it is coordinating with the taliban to secure the airport. the taliban said it is not responsible for the security failure. >> there is this attack, but also the situation around the airport, the gathering of tens of thousands of people is a suitable location for these attackers. this is a security mishandling, a big mistake. we warned the foreign forces of the repercussions of large gatherings around the airport. anchor: we have more now from kabul. correspondent: there are growing questions being asked about the ability to deal with isil and afghanistan, made worse because during the taliban offensive, they opened the prisons to free their fighters, but in the protests, thousands of isil
fighters were freed. the situation is made worse because of the weapons available to groups like this that fell into the hands of the taliban, commandeered from the afghan national army and u.s. and nato forces, but some experts say they have also fallen into the hands of isil. the pentagon said there has been cooperation between u.s. and nato forces in the taliban during the evacuation operation. the taliban said it will not allow homegrown or foreign terror organizations to use the country as a base to attack foreign countries or target inside afghanistan, but there are questions asked as to whether that level of cooperation that we have seen during this evacuation operation will continue once nato forces lead.
one thing is for sure, it is in both the u.s., nato countries, and the taliban's interest to prevent an organization that not only presents a threat to this country, but the world. anchor: so what do we know about isil-k, that has claimed responsibility for the attacks? it was formed in 2014 by breakaway fighters who pledged allegiance to the late isil leader. the name refers to a historical region that includes parts that would today be in iran, afghanistan, and another country. it has been responsible for some of the worst attacks in recent years, girls schools, hospitals, and a maternity ward. it is considered the most extreme and violent of all
militant groups in afghanistan. it has major differences with the taliban, accusing it of abandoning armed struggle in favor of peace deals with washington. ♪ let's bring in our guests from kabul, a political analyst and lecture on transitional justice at the american university of afghanistan, and from pittsburgh, the director of policy and research at a security and intelligence consulting firm. from doha, the director of the center for conflict and humanitarian studies at the doha institute. thank you all for joining us. let me start with you. obviously, a horrible situation in afghanistan right now with the aftermath of this attack and lots of worries about what will happen next, security, not just around the airport, but throughout the country as a
whole. >> yes, what happened yesterday was a shock to all of us. the shock was everyone was talking about it. there were intelligence reports indicating something like that could happen. it was a very soft target, and it still happened. the little glimmer of hope the youth, the educated youth had was that despite everything we had traded in -- peace, the scale of the killing that happened every day and afghanistan would not be seen anymore. >> let's turn to our guest in pittsburgh. could an attack like this happen again? >> yes, and that is what everybody is concerned about. tensions are high. the intelligence bills were raining, and they were right.
the administration said an attack was imminent, and we saw one. we know isk have the ability, the intent, and likely planning the next round of attacks. this could be the beginning of a sustained terrorist campaign. anchor: is this a glimpse of to come? >> it is a reminder to the time a band that now they have walked into kabul and assumed responsibility, there is no way to secure the city without working everybody else. it is a city of 6 million people , in unknown territory to them, and i think we will see more of this, falling between the lines of mandate, security between the
u.s. and the taliban. this small area ended up almost under no one's control, as the taliban started to avoid the u.s. forces, and now i think it is very important to remember they must get their act quickly together, announce the government, stand together to run the country. anchor: how does this affect evacuation plans as they are right now? president biden is sticking to that august 31 date, all evacuations to end, but if there is a real possibility of an attack like this occurring again, how do you get people to the airport? what about the logistics and security challenges? >> it is incredibly difficult. since yesterday's attack, the
military and administration have been trying to figure out a different way of security to introduce some white space between the airport, military, and the people descending on the airport. there are numerous vulnerable spots, soft targets as we have seen, and we have to figure out a way for the perimeter to be pushed back and individuals to be processed and screen before they get up to the gate. the current situation is not sustainable. anchor: if i could turn back to you on this, still talking about the security challenges here. we now have a curious situation now, something that would not have been dreamt of a couple of years ago, the u.s. government trying to make common cause with the taliban, the insurgents it for 20 years against a shared enemy here in isil-k.
what needs to be done to ensure security for afghans? >> first off, we are hoping that is-k's capabilities are not as large as what it looked like yesterday. the taliban with their own history of being an insurgent group in creating disruptions before them should have some level of experience of how to deal or understand the protocols and procedures of such organizations. and that is politics. i mean, the people have accepted their new reality, those who are not leaving the country are accepting the new reality, while at the same time those who were the enemy for two decades are now running this country, and it is important there is an engagement and process for getting into the airport. your guest mentioned the need
for a buffer zone to make sure everyone is not standing at the gate. everybody was deflecting yesterday and pointing the responsibility at the other, even though it was a collective failure on everybody's part. there has to be a better administration of this, and that starts with creating a government, a central address for the americans to negotiate and talk to, but we are hoping that all sides can get their acts together before such incidents become more common. anchor: some who supported this withdrawal decision by president biden will say that thursday's attack was only possible because the u.s. troops were there in the first place, they were such an easy target, but is that argument too easy do you think? >> i don't think the attack was targeting the u.s. forces only. the attack it seems to me was orchestrated to increase the
chaos in the country, even counter the legitimacy of the taliban and any coalition the taliban may reach, so it is not just targeting the u.s. if you allow me to go back to the issue of the coordination, there has been careful coordination between the u.s. and the taliban since february 20 9, 2020, first to avoid contacting each other, in terms of on the ground, and also more recently, since august 15, to avoid any clashes between their forces and the taliban, so it is not a lack of coordination in terms of avoiding each other, it is how would you physically stop people from moving to the airport? the way the evacuation plans have been announced, largely to please people back home in the u.s., britain, france, and
elsewhere, have given the wrong impression that the gates are open to anyone who is wanting to leave afghanistan, to come to the airport and be airlifted. and that has placed incredible pressure on the airport, and has put the taliban in a difficult position, i think. they are dammed if they stop the people, dammed if they don't, and i think that situation could -- should come to an end, and this country should have had an evacuation plan long ago, planned, organized, and families, associates, have them by name, numbers, text messages, whatever, but all of that was not in place, and it all good be because of the speed with which things that happened, and as you may know, the actual entry into
couple -- couple -- kabul was not planned. the plan was to stop on the outskirts and for the president to continue with the military and the police to secure the city while the americans take over the airport, but that plan was preempted by the early departure of the president, which was a surprise to everyone, and then other leaders calling on the taliban to secure the city so there is no chaos, no looting going on in the city. so in one way or the other, the hand was forced to enter, and they were not prepared. the other side was not prepared, and you saw this chaos, but now there is a real pressure that they must get their act together. anchor: i know that public
opinion in the u.s. before this month was pretty much against, or rather in favor of this withdrawal, not wanting to be in afghanistan for much longer, but has that changed now because of this attack, or does it actually for some people bolster the argument the u.s. needs to get out? >> i think it is the latter. for many americans it will be proof that u.s. has no place in afghanistan should be leaving. i look at the polling data. i have been against the withdrawal from day one, and i think, as other guests have acknowledged, have to recognize this evacuation has been poorly planned. i know this administration has been trying to put out positive news about how many people have been evacuated, and that is great, but the haphazard nature of this evacuation withdrawal
essentially lead in a direct line to what we saw yesterday. we've lost 13 troops yesterday. this was a terrible day in the u.s. afghanistan lost many citizens killed and wounded, innocent civilians, including children. it is heartbreaking to watch this. you are right. there is an immense pressure for the administration to get this right. they were caught off guard, a number of different scenarios. there has to be a contingency plan. you have to anticipate every scenario when you are doing and evacuation operation. we should have plans for every single possible scenario, and it is clear we did not. anchor: where does taliban taliban the go from here, not just providing adequate security, but the day-to-day governing of kabul? we know thousands of afghans have left already, many skilled
people, people part of the previous government. is there a sense that many of them are needed to help the taliban government? >> just a quick comment before i get to your question. i would like to thank your guest for recognizing there were afghans who gave up their lives yesterday, because apparently president biden did not notice, and your guest could be a speaker for the movement itself. he talks about coordination agreements between the taliban and u.s. he needs to go to the airport to see the impeccable nature of that coordination. there is no single language. there are no middle people. it is extremely haphazard. as regards where the taliban will go from here, the brained drain is a real concern. they have to come up with trust
building measures with the afghan people. the ministries do not function yet. the partners for engineers that have two remaining out of 20 engineers, this will not be a functional, sustainable system if it stays this way, so either the taliban convinces the people, not through coercion, they cannot hold educated populations hostage, but convince them by establishing policies that ensure the safety, matching words with actions with regards to the amnesty promised to people who have worked with the government, and then in the long term these people back, because again, most of the people were educated people on these airplanes, people the country they had invested years on themselves, and now they are not here, so the taliban really need to address that gap because
governing is not an easy job. they are good at fighting. we will have to see whether they can govern successfully not. anchor: if we talk more about isil-k and what their objectives were in this attack, it was meant in the short term to so chaos -- sow chaos and bring a feeling of instability, but what is the ultimate goal? are they looking for power in the same way they were trying to build the caliphate? what is the ultimate aim? >> if you allow me to come back to my colleague about being a spokesperson for the movement, i will turn a blind eye to this comment because i understand the pressure people are under in kabul at the moment, but it is important to emphasize rational thinking in kabul has been
missing for some time, and that is why people find themselves in this chaos at the moment. the talks in doha were going on, then they were interrupted, and as the taliban are making progress towards the capital, it became clear to everybody, basically on august 12, that the balance of power had shifted towards the taliban and the representatives of the president were talking to the taliban about transfer peaceful and orderly transfer of power, and that agreement was on was finalized. he left the country on the day when his delegation was going to leave to doha to agree, so i don't know what that is in kabul or not, but this is the reality of the situation happening. going back to is-k, very little
is known about their actual agenda in afghanistan. as you know, these are people who are fleshed out mostly from iraq and ended up in afghanistan , and started their activities after they were finished up in iraq. they have been traditional enemies of the taliban, and they are thriving on attracting the most extreme element in the least educated, and within a certain ethnicity of the taliban ranks, and trying to present themselves as the ultimate extreme interpretation of islamic political movement. this is how they have grown over the last couple of years, so it is not clear whether they have long-term objective, but to disturb the potential stability. they are traditional enemies of
the taliban, the americans, and some at the time, some rumors about him being associated to other regional powers, some intelligent services and so on, but in general, they are known as bad news to the country. they are as said, in small numbers, but they can be deadly, and the bombing that happened that consumed the lives of more than 100 afghans yesterday is one example of what they're capable of doing. and i agree that the sooner the taliban come up with an inclusive government, and in my opinion as soon as they have that, the best. anchor: i know you said earlier you were not in favor of this decision to withdraw from afghanistan in the first place, but are there really any
palatable options for the u.s. at this point? if they decide to stay longer, would not that be inviting further deadly attacks by isil-k ? >> at this point, as of today in late august, there is no option for staying. we have set this process in motion, and the president made a decision he will stick to that decision. the question becomes how do we put together some kind of viable counterterrorism approach? he has used the term over the horizon. i have written about an offshore counterterrorism strategy with my colleague. it will be difficult. we will be doing the same things we have been doing, except from a distance, and we will be subject to the politics of the state wherever we set up our ct presence, pakistan, the central asian country, and we are at the
behest of material leaders and governments, so no good options all around, so if you look at what the u.s. has got wrong so far, even in the last couple weeks, it does not inspire confidence that we will be able to have accurate intelligence if groups like al qaeda and is-k are growing and attempting to attack. we won't know about that, because we have no eyes in years on the ground anymore. anchor: good to speak with all three of you. we will have to leave it there. thanks very much for being on "inside story." thank you for watching. you can see this program anytime on our website. you have our facebook page. you can join the conversation on twitter. for me and the whole team here,