Secy. of State Blinken Holds Briefing on Afghanistan Withdrawal | NBC News

Secy. of State Blinken Holds Briefing on Afghanistan Withdrawal | NBC News

>> OF AMERICA’S LONGEST WAR. NEARLY 20 YEARS. NOW IT COMES SHORTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT IN THAT REGION WHERE IT IS NOW. AUGUST 31ST. THE LAST FLIGHT DEPARTING AFGHANISTAN JUST ABOUT AN HOUR AGO. LET’S LISTEN TO GENERAL FRANK MCKENZIE, HEAD OF US CENTRAL COMMAND. >> I’M HERE TO ANNOUNCE THE COMPLETION OF OUR WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN IN THE END OF THE MILITARY MISSION TO EVACUATE AMERICAN CITIZENS. 3RD COUNTRY NATIONALS AND VULNERABLE AFGHANS. THE LAST C 17 LIFTED OFF FROM HAMAD KARZAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON AUGUST 30TH THIS AFTERNOON AT 03:29PM EAST COAST TIME IN THE LAST MANNED AIRCRAFT IS NOW CLEARING THE AIR SPACE ABOVE AFGHANISTAN. WE WILL SOON RELEASE A PHOTO OF THE LAST 2.17 DEPARTING AFGHANISTAN WITH MAJOR GENERAL CHRIS DONOHUE AND THE U.S. AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN ROSS WILSON BOARD. WHILE THE MILITARY EVACUATION IS COMPLETE, THE DIPLOMATIC MISSION TO ENSURE ADDITIONAL US CITIZENS AND ELIGIBLE AFGHANS. WE WANT TO LEAVE CONTINUES AND I KNOW THAT YOU’VE HEARD AND I KNOW THAT YOU’RE GOING TO HEAR MORE ABOUT THAT FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT SHORTLY. MIGHT WITHDRAW SIGNIFIES BOTH THE END OF THE MILITARY COMPONENT OF THE EVACUATION, BUT ALSO THE END OF THE NEARLY 20 YEAR MISSION THAT BEGAN IN AFGHANISTAN SHORTLY AFTER 9/11/2000, ONE. IT’S A MISSION THAT BROUGHT OSAMA BIN LADEN TO ADJUST HIM ALONG WITH MANY WAS AL QAEDA CO-CONSPIRATORS AND IT WAS NOT IT WAS NOT A CHEAP MISSION. THE COST WAS 2000, 461 US SERVICE MEMBERS AND CIVILIANS KILLED AND MORE THAN 20,000 WHO WERE INJURED. SADLY, THAT INCLUDES 13 US SERVICE MEMBERS. WE WERE KILLED LAST WEEK BY AN ISIS K SUICIDE BOMBER. WE HONOR THEIR SACRIFICE TODAY AS WE REMEMBER THEIR HEROIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS. NO WORDS FROM ME, COULD POSSIBLY CAPTURE THE FULL MEASURE SACRIFICES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THOSE WHO SERVE NOR THE EMOTIONS. THEY ARE FEELING AT THIS MOMENT. WHAT I WILL SAY THAT I’M PROUD THAT BOTH MY SON AND I HAVE BEEN A PART OF IT. BEFORE OPENING UP FOR QUESTIONS. I DO WANT TO PROVIDE SOME IMPORTANT CONTEXT TO THE EVACUATION MISSION THAT WE JUST COMPLETED. AND WHAT WAS THE LARGEST NONCOMBATANT EVACUATION IN THE U.S. MILITARY HISTORY. SINCE AUGUST. THE 14TH OVER AN 18 DAY PERIOD. U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT HAVE EVACUATED MORE THAN 79,000 CIVILIANS FROM HAMAD KARZAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT THAT INCLUDES 6,000 AMERICANS AND MORE THAN 73,500 3RD COUNTRY NATIONALS AND AFGHAN CIVILIANS. THIS LAST CATEGORY INCLUDES SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISAS CONSULAR STAFF THAT RISK AFGHANS AND THEIR FAMILIES. IN TOTAL US AND COALITION AIRCRAFT COMBINED TO EVACUATE. MORE THAN 123,000 CIVILIANS WHICH WERE ALL ENABLED BY U.S. MILITARY SERVICE MEMBERS. WE’RE SECURING AN OPERATING HERE FEEL. ON AVERAGE. WE HAVE EVACUATED MORE THAN 7,500 CIVILIANS PER DAY OVER THE 18 DAYS OF THE MISSION WHICH INCLUDES 16, 4 DAYS OF EVACUATIONS AND MORE THAN 19,000 ON A SINGLE DIME. THESE NUMBERS DO NOT INCLUDE ROUGHLY 5,000 SERVICE MEMBERS AND THEIR EQUIPMENT THAT WERE SENT TO AFGHANISTAN TO SECURE THE AIRFIELD AND WHO WITHDRAWN THE CONCLUSION OF OUR MISSION. THE NUMBERS I PROVIDED REPRESENT A MONUMENTAL ACCOMPLISHMENT. BUT THEY DO NOT DO JUSTICE TO THE DETERMINATION. THE GRIT, THE FLEXIBILITY AND THE PROFESSIONALISM OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE U.S. MILITARY AND OUR COALITION PARTNERS. WE WERE ABLE TO RAPIDLY COMBINED EFFORTS EVACUATE SO MANY UNDER SUCH DIFFICULT CONDITIONS AS SUCH. I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT THAT I PROVIDE YOU WITH WHAT I HOPE WILL BE SOME VALUABLE CONTEXT. WHEN THE PRESIDENT DIRECTED THE COMPLETE WITHDRAWAL OF US FORCES FROM AFGHANISTAN IN APRIL. THE TEAM AT US CENTRAL COMMAND BEGAN TO UPDATE AND REFINE OUR EXISTING PLAN FOR A POTENTIAL NONCOMBATANT EVACUATION OPERATION OR NEO IN AFGHANISTAN. WE HAVE A FRAMEWORK PLANS THAT INCLUDED NUMEROUS BRANCHES AND SEQUELS DEPENDING ON THE NATURE OF THE SECURITY ENVIRONMENT. OVER TIME. WE CONTINUE TO REFINE OUR PLANS WHICH INCLUDED THE INNER AGENCY. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND OTHER COMBATANT COMMANDS PLAN SUCH AS THIS ARE BUILT UPON A NUMBER OF FACTS AND ASSUMPTIONS IN FACTS ASSUMPTIONS CHANGE OVER TIME. WELL, DURING THE SECURITY ENVIRONMENT DETERIORATE. WE CONTINUE TO UPDATE OUR FACTS AND ASSUMPTIONS. AS THE SECURITY SITUATION RAPIDLY DEVOLVED IN AFGHANISTAN. WE TOOK A NUMBER OF ACTIONS TO POSITION OURSELVES FOR POTENTIAL MEDIA BASED UPON DIRECTION FROM THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE. WE POSITION FORCES IN THE REGION AND PUT THEM ON INCREASED ALERT. WE BEGAN TO PREPOSITION SUPPLIES AND WE BEGAN SOME PREPARATORY WORK ON INTERMEDIATE FACILITIES IN CUTTER WITH THE SUPPORT OF OUR GRACIOUS HOST NATION. WHEN THE EVACUATION WAS FORMERLY DIRECTED ON AUGUST. THE 14TH. WE BEGIN TO CARRY ON OUR PLAN BASED UPON THE INITIAL ASSUMPTION THAT THE AFGHAN SECURITY FORCES WOULD BE A WILLING AND ABLE SECURITY PARTNER IN KABUL DEFENDING THE CAPITOL FOR A MATTER OF WEEKS OR AT LEAST FOR A FEW DAYS. WITHIN 24 HOURS. OF COURSE, THE AFGHAN MILITARY COLLAPSED COMPLETELY OPENING KABUL UP TO THE TALIBAN’S MATCH AUGUST. THE 15TH IN A MEETING WITH TALIBAN SENIOR LEADERSHIP AU I DELIVERED A MESSAGE ON BEHALF OF THE PRESIDENT AND OUR MISSION IN KABUL WAS NOW THE EVACUATION OF AMERICANS AND OUR PARTNERS THAT WE WOULD NOT TOLERATE INTERFERENCE AND THAT WE WOULD FORCEFULLY DEFEND OUR FORCES AND THE EVACUEES IF NECESSARY. THE TALIBAN’S RESPONSE TO THAT MEETING WAS IN LINE WITH WHAT THEY’VE SAID PUBLICLY. WHILE THE STATE OF THEIR INTENT TO ENTER AND OCCUPY KABUL. THEY ALSO OFFERED TO WORK WITH US ON A DECONFLICTION MECHANISM TO PREVENT MISCALCULATION. ALL OUR FORCES OPERATE IN CLOSE QUARTERS. I’M LIKE THEY PROMISED NOT TO INTERFERE WITH OUR WITHDRAWAL. IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT WITH HIM. 48 HOURS OF THE EXECUTION ORDER. THE FACTS ON THE GROUND TO CHANGE SIGNIFICANTLY. WE’VE GONE FROM COOPERATING ON SECURITY WITH A LONGTIME PARTNER AND ALLY TO INITIATING A PRAGMATIC RELATIONSHIP OF NECESSITY WITH A LONG TIME. INTO THAT ENVIRONMENT WHERE MORE PEOPLE EASILY AND WE’RE GOING TO JOURNAL FOR ALSO ONE OF THE MARINES AND SUBSEQUENTLY MAJOR GENERAL CHRIS DONOHUE OF THE ARMY’S 82ND AIRBORNE DIVISION DEPLOYED AND EMPLOY THEIR FORCES AND EXTRAORDINARY WORK WITH THE LEADING ELEMENTS ARE REINFORCEMENT PACKAGE TO SAFELY CLOSE. THE EMBASSY IN ONE PERIOD DARKNESS OR 1 ONE EVENING TO ESTABLISH A DECONFLICTION MECHANISM WITH THE TALIBAN TO ESTABLISH SECURITY AT THE AIRPORT AND TO BRING IN THE REST ARE REINFORCEMENTS INTO THE AIRPORT. THEY ACCOMPLISHED THIS DIFFICULT LIST OF TASKS WITHIN 48 HOURS OF SUPPORTING THE TRANSFER OF THE EMBASSY TO THE AIRPORT. I VISITED KABUL ON TUESDAY, AUGUST. THE 17TH TO SEE THE WORK BEING DONE TO ESTABLISH SECURITY FIRSTHAND AND TO OBSERVE THE TRANSITION TO THE EVACUATION. I LEFT ON A C 17 THAT BROUGHT MORE THAN A 130 AFGHANS AND AMERICAN CITIZENS OUT CARS. I INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TELL YOU TO EAT OR BUY SON CARTER. OUR MEN AND WOMEN ON THE GROUND AT THE AIRPORT QUICKLY EMBRACE THE DANGEROUS AND METHODICAL WORK OF DEFENDING THE AIRPORT CONDUCTING THE HAND. I HAND SCREENING OF MORE THAN 120,000 EVACUEES, 6 DIFFERENT ENTRY POINTS INTO YOUR FEET. WE ALSO CONDUCTED 3 SEPARATE HELICOPTER EXTRACTIONS OF 3 DISTINCT GROUPS OF CIVILIANS, INCLUDING AT LEAST 185 AMERICAN CITIZENS WITH OUR GERMAN PARTNERS, 21 GERMAN >> ADDITIONALLY US SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES REACHED OUT TO HELP. CAN BRING IN MORE THAN 1064 AMERICAN CITIZENS IN 2000, SIDE. THESE ARE AFGHANS AT RISK AND 127 3RD COUNTRY NATIONALS. >> ALL PHONE CALLS VECTORS AND ESCORTING. WE HAVE EVACUATED MORE THAN 6,000 US CIVILIANS, WHICH WE BELIEVE REPRESENTS THE VAST MAJORITY OF THOSE WHO WANTED TO LEAVE AT THIS TIME. IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO OVERESTIMATE THE NUMBER OF UNUSUAL CHALLENGES AND COMMUTING THE COMPETING DEMANDS. >> OTHER FORCES ON THE GROUND HAVE SUCCESSFULLY OVER ON. THE THREAT TO OUR FORCES. >> PARTICULARLY FROM ISIS K WAS VERY REAL AND TRAGICALLY RESULTED IN THE LOSS OF 13 SERVICE MEMBERS AND DOZENS OF AFGHAN CIVILIANS. I SAID THIS BEFORE, BUT I LIKE TO SAY AGAIN. WE GREATLY APPRECIATE THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF MANY COALITION PARTNERS. THE STOOD WITH US ON THE GROUND THAT HARM KARZAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. I’M JUST GOING TO SINGLE OUT ONE NATION AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE MANY. THE NORWEGIANS TO MAINTAIN THEIR HOSPITAL AT THE TOP OF THE AIRPORT AND THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL FOR THE IMMEDIATE CARE FOR OUR WOUNDED. AFTER THE ABBEY GATE ATTACK. EVEN AFTER THE ATTACK. THEY AGREED TO EXTEND THE PRESENCE OF THEIR HOSPITAL TO PROVIDE MORE COVERAGE FOR US. OUR DIPLOMATS HAVE ALSO BEEN WITH US IN KABUL FROM BEGINNING AND THEY’RE WORKING PROCESSING. OVER 120,000 PEOPLE STAND RIGHT BESIDE THAT OF THEIR MILITARY PARTNERS. WE WERE A TEAM ON THE GROUND. AS I CLOSE MY REMARKS. I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER MY PERSONAL APPRECIATION TO THE MORE THAN 800,000 SERVICE MEMBERS AND 25,000 CIVILIANS SERVED IN AFGHANISTAN AND PARTICULARLY TO THE FAMILIES OF THOSE WHOSE LOVED ONES HAVE BEEN LOST OR WON’T IT. YOUR SERVICE AS WELL AS THAT OF YOUR COMRADES AND FAMILY MEMBERS. WE’LL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. MY HEART IS BROKEN OVER THE LOSSES WE SUSTAIN 2 DAYS AGO. AS THE POEM BY LAWRENCE BINION GOATS. WE WILL REMEMBER THEM. THE LAST 18 AND CHALLENGING. AMERICANS CAN BE PROUD OF MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ARMED FORCES. WE MET THESE CHALLENGES HEAD ON. I’M NOT READY TO TAKE YOUR QUESTIONS. >> THANK YOU. GENERAL WILL START TO WITH THE LEAD IN A TO CO WE’RE LIMITED ON TIME TO PLEASE LIMIT YOUR FOLLOW-UP SO THAT MORE PEOPLE CAN GET QUESTIONS ASKED. GO AHEAD, PLEASE. >> GENERAL, THANKS DOING THIS SINCE LEADER WITH CAN YOU GIVE US SENSE OF WHETHER OR NOT THERE WERE ANY AMERICAN CITIZENS OR OTHER CIVILIANS TAKEN OUT ON ANY OF THOSE LAST COUPLE OF SEE 70’S THAT FLEW OUT. THIS AND CAN YOU GIVE US A PICTURE. WHAT YOU SAW IT. I A MAN AND OTHER THINGS GETTING EITHER DESTROYED OR REMOVED AT THE AIRPORT BEFORE THEY LEFT. >> WEAK MONO AMERICAN CITIZENS CAME OUT ON THE LAST WHAT WE CALL THE JOINT TACTICAL EXPERT RATION. THE LAST OF 5 JETS TO LEAVE. WE WE MAINTAIN THE ABILITY TO BRING THE MEN UP UNTIL IMMEDIATELY BEFORE DEPARTURE. BUT WE WERE NOT ABLE TO BRING ANY AMERICANS OUT THAT ACTIVITY ENDED PROBABLY ABOUT 12 HOURS BEFORE OUR EXIT, ALTHOUGH WE CONTINUE THE OPERATION WOULD HAVE BEEN PREPARED TO TO BRING THEM ON UNTIL THE VERY LAST MINUTE. BUT NONE OF THEM MADE IT TO THE AIRPORT AND WERE ABLE TO BE AND WE WILL BE ACCOMMODATED. WE BROUGHT SOME OF THAT OUT AND WE DO THE MILLET LET ME GIVE AN EXAMPLE. SOMETHING THAT WE DEMILITARIZE. YOU VERY MUCH AWARE, OF COURSE, OF THE ROCKET ATTACK THAT OCCURRED YESTERDAY WERE 5 ROCKETS WERE FIRED THE AIRFIELD RC RAMS WERE VERY EFFECTIVE AND ENGAGING THE 2 ROCKETS THAT DID FALL IN THE AIR FEELING. WE BELIEVE THAT PROBABLY KEPT THEM FROM DOING MORE SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE. WE LIKE TO THE KEEP THOSE SYSTEMS IN OPERATION UP UNTIL THE VERY LAST MINUTE. IT’S A COMPLEX. PROCEDURE COMPLEX AND TIME INTENSIVE PROCEDURE TO BREAK DOWN THOSE SYSTEMS. SO WE DEMILITARIZE A SYSTEM SO THAT THEY’LL NEVER BE USED AGAIN AND THEN WE JUST GOT THAT WE FELT IT MORE IMPORTANT TO PROTECT OUR FORCES AND BRING THOSE SYSTEMS BACK. WE’VE ALSO D MILLAR DEMILITARIZED EQUIPMENT THAT WE DID NOT BRING OUT OF THE AIRPORT THAT INCLUDED A NUMBER RACH UP 70 M WRAPS THAT WE DEMILITARIZE AND WILL NEVER BE USED AGAIN BY ANYONE ON LITTLE TACTICAL VEHICLE THAT WILL NEVER BE DRIVEN AGAIN. ON THE RAMP AT THAT AGE OUR 73 THOSE AIRCRAFT WILL NEVER FLY AGAIN WHEN WE LEFT, THEY’LL NEVER BE A BILL WILL BE OPERATED BY ANYONE. MOST OF THEM ARE NOT MISSION CAPABLE TO BEGIN WITH, BUT CERTAINLY THEY’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO BE FLOWING AGAIN. >> A GENERAL DAVID MARTIN WITH CBS. WAS THERE ANY TO ENTER FOR YEARS. WITH THE A FINAL FLIGHT THE MINE AND THE TALIBAN BUY OR ANY OTHER GROUP. AND AMERICANS JUST THE PREMISES OR DID THEY TURN IT OVER TO THAT ELEMENT. >> WE KNOW THAT ISIS HAS WORKED VERY, VERY HARD. THE STRIKE TO CONTINUE TO WE FEEL THAT THE STRIKE WE TOOK YESTERDAY KABUL ACTUALLY WAS VERY DISRUPTIVE TO THEIR ATTACK PLANS AND THREW HIM OFF STRIDE. NOTHING. THAT WAS ONE OF THE SIGNIFICANT REASONS WHY THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO ORGANIZE THEMSELVES AND GET AFTER US AS WE CONDUCTED THE FINAL WITHDRAWAL. I WILL TELL YOU THE TALIBAN HAVE BEEN VERY PREGNANT, VERY PRAGMATIC, VERY BUSINESS LIKE AS WE HAVE APPROACHED WITHDRAWL, WE DID NOT TURN IT OVER TO THE GENERAL DON. HE ONE OF THE LAST THINGS HE DID BEFORE LEAVING WAS TALK TO THE TALIBAN COMMANDER OF THE HUMAN COORDINATING WITH IT WITH THE ABOUT THE TIME WE WERE GOING TO LEAVE JUST TO LET THEM KNOW THAT WE’RE LEAVING, BUT THERE WAS NO DISCUSSION ANYTHING OVER OF THAT AT ALL. >> MCCANN SLEET JENNIFER GRIFFIN FROM FOX NEWS. IF I COULD JUST HAVE THE REFLECT PERSONALLY. AFTER 20 YEARS OF WAR. YOU’VE SERVED THEIR YOU NOW WATCH THE LAST TROOPS LEAVE LAST TROOPS IN RECENT DAYS. HOW DID IT FEEL. LEAVING AFGHANISTAN TO THE VERY GROUPS THAT YOU OVER THROUGH 20 YEARS AGO. THE TALIBAN. >> WELL, AS I SORT OF SAID IN MY AS YOU KNOW, I’VE BEEN THERE A COUPLE TIMES ON MY SON’S BEEN THERE A COUPLE TIMES. SO AND IT WAS VERY CONFLICTED, ACTUALLY. BUT I WOULD TELL YOU I WAS PRETTY MUCH FOCUSED ON THE TASK AT HAND. I’LL HAVE DAYS AHEAD TO ACTUALLY THINK ABOUT THAT. THERE ARE JUST SO MUCH GOING ON IN THIS HEADQUARTERS AND WE’RE SO COMPLETELY FOCUSED ON GETTING OUR TROOPS OUT IN THE DAYS BEFORE GETTING A, YOU KNOW, GETTING GETTING OUR CITIZENS OUT AND AFGHANS TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY. I DO NOT HAVE A LOT OF TIME FOR REFLECTION I’M SURE I WILL DO THAT IN THE FUTURE RIGHT NOW I’M PRETTY MUCH CONSUMED WITH THE WITH THE OPERATIONAL TASKS THAT RIGHT. AND I’M GOING TO BE THINKING ABOUT THAT IN THE DATA. >> MESSAGE TO AMERICANS AND AFGHAN ALLIES WHO ARE LEFT BEHIND. >> SO THE MILITARY PHASE OF THIS OPERATION IS IN THAT THE DIPLOMATIC SEQUEL TO THAT. WELL, NOW, AGAIN, AND I BELIEVE OUR DEPARTMENT OF STATE IS GOING TO WORK VERY HARD TO ALLOW ANY AMERICAN CITIZENS THAT ARE LEFT AND WE THANK THE CITIZENS THAT WERE NOT BROUGHT OUT NUMBER IN THE LOW. VERY LOW. HUNDREDS, I BELIEVE THAT WE’RE GOING TO WORK. WE’RE GOING TO BE ABLE GET THOSE PEOPLE OUT. I THINK WE’RE ALSO GOING TO NEGOTIATE VERY HARD, VERY AGGRESSIVELY TO GET OUR OTHER AFGHAN PARTNERS OUT MILITARY PHASE IS OVER, BUT OUR DESIRE TO BRING THESE PEOPLE OUT REMAINS AS INTENSE AS IT WAS BEFORE THE WEAPONS HAVE JUST SAYS SHIFTED, IF YOU WILL, FROM THE MILITARY AROUND THE DIPLOMATIC ROOM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE WILL NOW TAKE A LEAF. >> HAVING PEOPLE ON A FINAL C 17 CAN YOU TELL US WHERE THE FIGHT IS HEADED AND YOU MENTIONED THAT DON, YOU TALK TO HIS HOUSE ON ESSENTIAL HALF-CENTURY. KIND OF FOR CAN YOU GIVE US ANY SENSE OF WHAT ROLE THE TALIBAN PLAYED FROM A SECURITY PERSPECTIVE TO ALLOW THE U.S. TO SAFELY DEPART PROBLEM. >> YES, I’M NOT GOING TO BE LAST THE FIRST 2 QUESTIONS BECAUSE THOSE OPERATIONS ARE STILL INCLUDING AS TO WHERE THE DEBT, THOSE AIRCRAFT ARE GOING IN THE DISPOSITION OF FORCES ON THE AIRCRAFT. I CAN TELL YOU THIS THOUGH, ABOUT WHAT THE TALIBAN IS GONE. THEY ESTABLISHED A FIRM PERIMETER OUTSIDE OF THE AIRFIELD TO PREVENT PEOPLE FROM COMING ON THE AIRFIELD DURING OUR DEPARTURE AND WE WE WORK THAT WITH HIM FOR A NUMBER OF DAYS. THEY DID NOT HAVE DIRECT KNOWLEDGE OF OUR TIME OF DEPARTURE, WHICH IS TO KEEP THAT WE CHOSE TO KEEP VERY INFORMATION VERY RESTRICTED. BUT THEY WERE ACTUALLY VERY HELPFUL AND USEFUL TO US AS WE CLOSE DOWN OPERATIONS. >> GO TO THE PHONES HAVEN’T DONE THAT YET. AND THE >> IF THINGS ARE THINGS ARE GONNA ME AND GENERAL COMEY, CAN YOU DO BECAUSE A DEEPER LEVEL OF DETAIL ON WHAT THIS LAST DAY LOOKED LIKE IN TERMS OF NUMBER OF FLIGHTS, NUMBER OF PEOPLE YOU HAVE ON THE GROUND. START WITH IT. WHO MIGHT HAVE BEEN ON THAT LAST PARTICULARLY SENIOR LEADERS AND THAT I JUST HOW IT ALL PLAYED OUT. >> THANKS. SURE. SO WE ACTUALLY BEGIN WITH THE BACK OF YOUR QUESTION ON THE LAST ARE PLAYING OUT WAS A GENERAL CHRIS DONOHUE, THE COMMANDER OF THE 82ND AIRBORNE DIVISION IN MY GROUND FORCE COMMANDER THERE AND HE WAS ACCOMPANIED BY OUR IN OUR CHARGE OF A ROSS WILSON. SO THEY CAME OUT TOGETHER SO THE DEFENSE TEAM CAME OUT ON THE LAST YEAR, KRAFT AND WERE IN FACT, THE LAST PEOPLE TO STAND ON THE GROUND STEP ON THE AIRPLANE. SO WHAT HAS HAPPENED OVER THE LAST 12 OR 18 HOURS IS WE FIRST OF ALL, WE WERE INTENT ON MAINTAINING THE ABILITY TO BRING OUT AMERICANS AND OTHER AND OTHER AFGHANS. AS LONG AS WE COULD. SO WE KEPT THE CAPABILITY TO JUST A FEW HOURS AGO AND WE WERE ABLE TO BRING OUT SOME PEOPLE EARLIER IN THE DAY, ALTHOUGH AS I NOTED EARLIER, WE HAD TO CUT IT SOME TIME BEFORE THIS OPERATION BEGAN. BUT WE WERE INTENT ON MAINTAINING THAT CAPABILITY. WE’RE ALSO INTENT ON MAINTAINING OUR FORCE PROTECTION BECAUSE OF THE THREATS FROM ISIS WERE VERY REAL. A VERY CONCERNING. AND SO WE DID A NUMBER OF THINGS. WE OVERWHELMING US AIR POWER OVERHEAD SHOULD THE A CHALLENGE TO OUR DEPARTURE. AND AGAIN, THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NO QUESTION WE’RE NOT GOING TO BE CHALLENGED BY THE TALIBAN. WE WERE IF WE’RE GOING TO CHALLENGE IT WAS GOING TO BUY ISAS. AND I THINK SOME OF THE THINGS WE’VE YESTERDAY. QUICKLY, THE STRIKE AND OTHER THINGS WE’VE DONE HAVE DISRUPTED THEIR ABILITY TO CONDUCT ATTACK PLANNING MANY, THEY REMAIN A VERY LETHAL FORCE. AND I THINK WE WOULD ASSESS THAT PROBABLY THERE ARE AT LEAST 2000 ISIS FIGHTERS IN AFGHANISTAN. NOW, AND OF COURSE, MANY OF THOSE COME FROM THE PRESIDENT’S THAT WERE THERE WERE OPENED A FEW A FEW DAYS AGO. SO THAT NUMBER IS UP AND IS PROBABLY AS HIGH AS IT’S EVER BEEN IN QUITE A WHILE. THAT’S GOING TO BE A CHALLENGE FOR THE TALIBAN. I BELIEVE IN THE DAYS AHEAD. >> THANK 2 QUICK QUESTIONS THERE. ABOUT 500 AFGHAN SOLDIERS WHO PROTECTING THE PERIMETER. DID YOU BACK THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES AND SECONDLY, I’M JUST ON THE DEPARTED. DO YOU BELIEVE IN IF YOU TAKE ON CIVILIAN AIRCRAFT PRETTY SOON. OR REQUIRE SOME STARTER FAIR OR EXPERTISE. >> TO SOME THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, WHICH IS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD. I BELIEVE WE BROUGHT OUT ALL THE MILITARY FORCE PARTNER WITH THE IN YOUR FIELD AND YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS. I BELIEVE THAT THAT IS NOT COMPLETE. WE NEED THE AIRPORT TO BE OPERATIONAL AND WE NEED THE AIRPORT TO BE OPERATIONAL QUICKLY FOR CIVILIAN. >> YOU KNOW, FOR CIVILIAN TRAFFIC. SO WE’RE GOING TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO HELP WITH THAT. LET ME GIVE AN EXAMPLE. ONE OF THE THINGS WE DID NOT DEMILITARIZE AS WE LEFT WHERE THOSE PIECES OF EQUIPMENT THAT ARE NECESSARY FOR AIRPORT OPERATIONS SUCH AS A PARTRIDGE IN THE FRONT END LOADERS, THINGS LIKE THAT. WE LEFT THAT WE LEFT THAT EQUIPMENT SO THAT IS TO ALLOW THE AIRPORT TO GET BACK AND GET OPERATING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. AND IT NEEDS TO GET OPERATING SHIPPED OFF. >> IS AUGUST AND DEADLINE REPEAT THAT. BEEN SAID THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE AUGUST 31ST ON THE YOU THINK THAT THERE MAY BE SOME PEOPLE WHO HAD SOME FALL COLD THAT THEY HAD AT LEAST ONE MORE DAY BEFORE THIS HAPPENED. AND CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOU YOU ARE COMPLETED HIS MISSION ON THE >> SURE. SO IT’S ACTUALLY THE 31ST IN AFGHANISTAN AS WE TAKE A LOOK WHAT DAY OF THE WEEK, WHAT DAY OF THE MONTH IS THAT THIS IS THE 30TH THE 1ST HALF SO WE ACTUALLY WENT OUT OF THE 31ST, NOT THE 30TH. IF YOU LOOK AT AFGHAN TIME, LOOK, THERE’S A LOT OF HEARTBREAK ASSOCIATED WITH THIS DEPARTURE. WE DID NOT GET EVERYBODY OUT THERE. WE WANT TO GET OUT. BUT I THINK IT WOULD STATE ANOTHER 10 DAYS. LOUIS WOULD HAVE GOTTEN EVERYBODY OUT THERE. WE WANT TO GET OUT AND THEY’RE STILL WOULD HAVE BEEN PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN DISAPPOINTED WITH THAT. IT’S A IT’S IT’S A TOUGH SITUATION, BUT I WANT TO EMPHASIZE AGAIN THAT SIMPLY BECAUSE WE HAVE LEFT. THAT DOESN’T MEAN THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR BOTH AMERICANS THAT ARE IN AFGHANISTAN THAT WANT TO LEAVE AND AFGHANS WHO WANT TO LEAVE. THEY WILL NOT BE DENIED THAT OPPORTUNITY. I THINK OUR DEPARTMENT STATES GOING TO WORK VERY HARD IN THE DAYS AND WEEKS AHEAD. >> I JUST WANT CLARIFICATION JOHN KENNEDY COURTNEY NBC NEWS FOR BUT SO WERE THERE ANY EVACUEES LEFT AT THE AIRPORT WHEN THE LAST FLIGHT LEFT. >> THERE ARE NO EVACUATION LEFT TO THE AIRPORT FROM THE U.S. LAST FLIGHT LEFT CORNER. >> THANK YOU. AND THEN JUST ON THE TALIBAN UNITY. TALK ABOUT THEIR PRIME AT WAYS OF OPERATING WITH THE U.S. MILITARY HERE. DO YOU SEE A ROLE FOR U.S. MILITARY TO HAVE OPEN CONVERSATIONS WITH THE TALIBAN, EVEN POTENTIAL FOR NATION. >> GOING FORWARD IN PARTICULAR WITH THIS GROWING AND NOW IT’S SITUATED THREAT FROM ISIS. >> WE’LL TELL YOU MY MY DEALING WITH THE TALIBAN MY DEALINGS OF MY COMMANDERS ON THE GROUND. THE TALIBAN REVOLVED AROUND OUR DETERMINATION TO EXECUTE THIS OPERATION AND A VERY FLAT STATEMENT WE MADE TO THEM. BUT IF WE DO KNOW IF YOU CHALLENGE US, WE’RE GOING TO YOU. AND I THINK THEY RECOGNIZE THAT AND FOR THEIR OWN PURPOSES. THIS IS SOMETHING THEY WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN TO. I WOULD I CAN’T FOR SEE THE WAY FUTURE COORDINATION. BUT BETWEEN US WOULD GO, I WOULD LEAVE THAT FIRST FOR SOME FUTURE DATE. I WILL SIMPLY SAY THAT THEY WANT THIS OUT. WE WANT TO GET OUT WITH OUR PEOPLE AND WE WANT WITH OUR AND WITH OUR FRIENDS AND PARTNERS. AND SO FOR THAT SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. OUR ISSUES ARE ARE A VIEW OF THE WORLD WAS CONGRESS. THAT WAS THE SIGN. FINALLY, I DO BELIEVE THE TALIBAN IS GOING TO HAVE THEIR HANDS FULL WITH ISIS AND THEY LET A LOT OF THOSE PEOPLE OUT OF PRISONS AND NOW THEY’RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO REAP WHAT THEY SOW. >> WAS LISTENING TO A BRIEFING, A VERY IMPORTANT BRIEFING FROM GENERAL FRANK MCKENZIE CALLING THIS, QUOTE, THE END OF THE NEARLY 20 YEAR MISSION THAT BEGAN IN AFGHANISTAN SHORTLY AFTER 9/11/2001, I WANT TO BRING IN NBC CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT RICHARD ENGEL. HE’S IN DOHA, QATAR HAVEN’T BEEN IN KABUL FOR FOR WEEKS NOW. RICHARD, YOU’VE THERE FOR SO LONG. YOU COVERED THIS CONFLICT FOR SO LONG THIS DATE, AUGUST 30TH 2021 WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY BOOKS AS THE END OF THIS CONFLICT. >> IT IT WILL. AND THIS WAS A HUMBLING DAY FOR THE UNITED STATES. A DAY OF HUMILITY FOR A WORLD SUPERPOWER. AFGHANISTAN HAS BEEN CALLED THE GRAVEYARD OF EMPIRES. THE BRITISH EMPIRE FOUGHT IN AFGHANISTAN AND WITHDREW IN DEFEAT. THE SOVIET UNION OCCUPIED AFGHANISTAN FOR 10 YEARS AND WITHDREW IN DEFEAT. THE UNITED STATES FOUGHT IN AFGHANISTAN FOR 20 YEARS AND IS NOW TONIGHT WITHDRAWING JUST COMPLETED ITS WITHDRAWAL IN DEFEAT. THIS IS A DIFFICULT MOMENT FOR THE FOR THE MILITARY. I FEEL FOR THE GENERAL WHO SERVED THERE WHOSE SON SERVED THEIR MANY IN THE MILITARY AS HE DESCRIBED IT ARE FEELING TREMENDOUSLY CONFLICTED. THIS WITHDRAWAL OPERATION WAS CONDUCTED WITH GREAT EXTRAORDINARY OPERATION COORDINATING DIFFERENT AIR FORCES AROUND THE WORLD TO REMOVE MORE THAN A 120,000 PEOPLE AND WHAT WAS EFFECTIVELY AN ISLAND SURROUNDED BY THE TALIBAN BEING ATTACKED BY ISIS. BUT THE LARGER STORY THAT AFTER 20 YEARS THE WORDS WORLD’S GREATEST MILITARY COULDN’T. HOLD ON AND ULTIMATELY HANDED THE COUNTRY BACK TO THE SAME EXTREMISTS THAT THEY HAD TOPPLED JUST A FEW WEEKS AFTER 9.11. THERE ARE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED HERE AND THERE ARE LESSONS THAT WILL BE LEARNED AND THEY MIGHT BE LEARNED BY THE WRONG ACTORS. THE REASON OSAMA BIN LADEN CARRIED OUT THE ATTACKS OF 9.11 IS HE WAS ON THE GROUND IN AFGHANISTAN AND HE WATCHED A GROUP SMALL GROUP OF ISLAMIST FIGHTERS DEFEAT THE SOVIET UNION AND HE DECIDED HE HAD WRITTEN ABOUT IT. THAT. WITH ENOUGH RESOLVED WITH ENOUGH DETERMINATION, WITH GOD’S GOOD GRACES ISLAMIST FIGHTERS CAN TAKE ON A SUPERPOWER AND HE TOOK ON THE UNITED STATES AND THEY’RE NEXT TO OSAMA BIN LADEN MIGHT BE WATCHING WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW AND SAYING IT’S HAPPEN. GROUP OF FIGHTERS TOOK ON THE UNITED STATES AND WATCHED THEM PULL RICHARD. IT WAS STRIKING TO HEAR THE GENERALS SAY THE TALIBAN WAS PRAGMATIC AND BUSINESSLIKE. THEY DEFENDED THE PERIMETER. >> AS THE U.S. WAS WITHDRAWING. WHAT HAPPENS NOW TO THE COUNTRY LEFT BEHIND. >> WHILE THE TALIBAN ARE IN CHARGE. AFGHANISTAN IS NOW THE ISLAMIC EMIRATE RUN BY THE TALIBAN. THE TALIBAN HAVE BECOME ONE OF THE BEST QUIPPED ARMIES IN THE WORLD. THAT SOUNDS STRANGE. BUT THE AMOUNT OF HARDWARE THAT THEY WERE ABLE TO SEIZE PUTS THEM IN THE TOP CATEGORIES ATOP SEVERAL DOZEN CATEGORIES OF BEST ARMIES IN THE WORLD. THEY WILL BE VERY HARD TO DISLODGE THE UNITED STATES IS NOT GOING TO GO BACK IN VERY UNLIKELY TO GO BACK IN AND DRIVE THEM OUT AGAIN. SO THEY’RE GOING TO BE THERE. THE QUESTION IS HAVE THEY LEARNED ANY LESSONS. WILL THEY KEEP THEIR PROMISES THAT AFTER THIS EXPERIENCE, THEY’RE GOING TO TRY AND ENGAGE WITH THE WORLD. THEY’RE GOING TO GO THROUGH COUNTRIES LIKE QATAR WHICH ARE TRYING TO NURTURE THEM AND BRING THEM AND PULL THEM INTO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. CAN THEY REALLY CHANGE WILL THEY CHANGE RIGHT NOW. THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN A LESSER EAT A LESSON IN VICTORY AND THERE WILL BE MANY IN THE TALIBAN WHO SAY WHY SHOULD WE CHANGE. WE HAVE JUST BEEN THE WAY WE ARE FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS. AND LOOK AT WHERE IT HAS BROUGHT US IT HAS BROUGHT US TO VICTORY HAS BROUGHT US NOW TO THE AIRPORT AS THEY WATCH AMERICAN FORCES LEAVE. SO IT WILL BE A DIFFICULT TIME FOR FOR AFGHANISTAN TO COME. AND IT PARTICULARLY WILL BE DIFFICULT FOR A GENERATION. I THINK THAT’S THAT’S THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WHAT THE BRITISH EXPERIENCE WAS AND THE RED THE SOVIET EXPERIENCE. IN 20 YEARS. THAT MEANS FOR 20 YEARS, THE UNITED STATES HAS OFFERED AN UMBRELLA OF PROTECTION OVER AFGHANISTAN. THE AVERAGE AGE IN AFGHANISTAN IS 19 TO MOST PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED THE TALIBAN. THEY ONLY EXPERIENCED WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO GROW UP UNDER AMERICAN PROTECTION WHEN THEY COULD HOPE WHEN THEY COULD GOES TO GO TO SCHOOL WHEN THEY COULD HAVE DREAMS AND NOW THAT IS GONE AND THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY ON CERTAIN REALITY WITH THE TALIBAN BACK IN POWER MAKING PROMISES WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT BE KEPT. >> RICHARD, THANK YOU AS EVER. LET ME BRING IN NBC’S CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT ANDREA MITCHELL WHO IS WITH US AS WELL. ANDREW HEARD THEM SAY THE NUMBER OF US CITIZENS REMAINING IN AFGHANISTAN. HE SAID IS IN THE LOW HUNDREDS BUT ARE THERE STILL ALLIES. ARE THERE STILL PEOPLE WHO HELPED THE U.S. FORCES WHO REMAIN. THEY’RE IN CAN’T GET OUT. >> EXACTLY. AND THESE AFGHAN TRANSLATORS AFGHAN WOMEN JOURNALISTS, AFGHAN LAWYERS AND JUDGES WHO IT SAID THE TALIBAN TO JAILS. THEY ARE STILL THERE. THEY’VE BEEN DESPERATE TO GET OUT. BUT THE PRIVATE CHARTERS THE NON GOVERNMENT NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT WE’RE TRYING TO GET THEM OUT AFTER THURSDAY’S BOMBING. I THE ISIS K ACCOMPLISH THAT PURPOSE OF ACCESS TO THE AIRPORT BECAUSE AFTER THAT, THOSE GATES HAD TO BE CLOSED AND WHAT YOU JUST HEARD, THE GENERAL SAY IS THAT IN THE LAST 5 FLIGHTS OVER THE LAST 12 HOURS. THERE WERE NO AMERICAN CITIZENS ON BOARD. THEY COULDN’T GET TO THE AIRPORT. THAT TRANSITION TO THE AIRPORT. THERE IS SOME HELICOPTER EXTRACTIONS DONE BY THE MILITARY. BUT THEY COULD NOT DO THAT AFTER THREATS FROM ISIS K THAT THERE WAS AN IMMINENT ATTACK. THEY REPELLED 5 ROCKET ATTACKS JUST THIS MORNING. AND ALSO, OF COURSE, THAT DRONE STRIKE YESTERDAY. SO THEY SAY HE SAID TO DO IS NOW THAT THAT REALLY DID DEGRADE ISIS CASE ABILITY. BUT THAT’S A REAL THREAT. HE WARNED THAT THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE THAT THE TALIBAN, WHICH HE SAID HAS BEEN HELPFUL AND USEFUL AS YOU WERE JUST POINTING OUT TO RICHARD. BUT THAT HABIT IS NOT HAVE THEIR HANDS FULL BECAUSE THERE ARE THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF ISIS FIGHTERS RIGHT NOW ON THE GROUND 2000. HE SAID AT LEAST 2000 BECAUSE THEY WERE RELEASED BY THE TALIBAN FROM THE PRISONS AND THAT HAS PROVED COULD PROVES THAT GOING FORWARD TO BE A CRITICAL MISTAKE BECAUSE THE CIVIL WAR IN AFGHANISTAN COULD BE STARTING NOW BECAUSE THE TALIBAN IT’S NOT ONLY GOING TO BE FIGHTING SOME RESISTANCE IN SOME PART PROVINCES, SOME OUTLYING PROVINCES FROM AFGHANS, BUT THEY ARE GOING TO BE FIGHTING THE ACES K THEY’RE USING THE AL QAEDA CONNECTED THAT WERE FROM PAKISTAN. WE’RE ON THE GROUND NOW AS THEIR SECURITY. BUT IT IS A STEW OF TERROR GROUPS. THEY’RE NOT REALLY WANTING AFGHANISTAN. >> ALL RIGHT. ANDREA MITCHELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH LET ME BRING IN OUR CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT PETER ALEXANDER WHO IS WITH US FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. PETER, I’M WONDERING 2 THINGS. WILL WE HEAR FROM THE PRESIDENT ON ON THIS HISTORIC DAY. AND SECONDLY, TO WHAT ANDREA JUST SAID. YOU HEARD THE GENERAL SAY OVER AND OVER AGAIN. THE MISSION WILL CONTINUE. THE STATE DEPARTMENT WILL STILL TRYING TO GET PEOPLE OUT. BUT I WONDER FUNCTIONALLY HOW THE ADMINISTRATION PLANS TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN. >> OKAY. THAT’S A REALLY IMPORTANT QUESTION. IT’S ONE EVEN AS WE WERE HEARING FROM THE GENERAL THERE. I WAS HEARING FROM THOSE WHO ARE TRYING PRIVATE CITIZENS WHO ARE TRYING TO GET OUT AFGHAN ALLIES OF THE UNITED STATES. THOSE FORMER MARINES, RETIRED MARINES AND OTHERS WHO SERVED WITH THOSE ALLIES TRYING TO GET OUT THOSE MEMBERS STILL STUCK IN THAT COUNTRY AND THEY WERE ASKING ME HOW DO WE DO THIS. WHERE DO WE SEND THEM THE JOURNEY BY LAND IS SIMPLY TOO DANGEROUS. SO THERE’S SOME REAL CHALLENGES RIGHT RIGHT NOW THE UNITED NATIONS EARLIER TODAY ACKNOWLEDGING THAT THE PLIGHT IN MANY WAYS FOR THOSE AFGHAN CIVILIANS IS JUST BEGINNING. THE REFUGEE CRISIS, THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS ASSOCIATE WITH THAT IS STILL A SIGNIFICANT ISSUE THAT THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH RIGHT NOW. IS THAT RESETTLE SO MANY OF THE 10’S OF THOUSANDS OF THOSE WHO THEY WERE ABLE TO GET OUT OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST SEVERAL DAYS AND WEEKS AS IT RELATES TO THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF. HIS PUBLIC SCHEDULE IS EFFECTIVELY CLOSED FOR THE DAY. THEY ANNOUNCE WHAT THEY CALL A LID, WHICH MEANS WE ARE NOT EXPECTED TO HEAR OR SEE FROM HIM TODAY. IT’S PI. IT’S LIKELY THAT WE WOULD HEAR IN THE FORM OF A STATEMENT RELEASED FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. JEN PSAKI, THE PRESS SECRETARY EARLIER SAYING THE PRESIDENT BIDEN WOULD ADDRESS THE END OF THIS WAR IN THE COMING DAYS TO USE HER WORDS. BUT AS WE COME TO THE END OF THE 20 YEAR WAR. WHAT TO SO MANY WASN’T JUST AMERICA’S LONGEST WAR, BUT ALSO A FORGOTTEN WAR IS CERTAINLY NOT BEEN FORGOTTEN TO THE MORE THAN 2400 AMERICAN SERVICE MEMBERS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES, INCLUDING THOSE 13 WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE LAST SEVERAL DAYS AS I’VE WE’VE BEEN HEARING FROM THE FAMILY MEMBERS. SO MANY OF THEM. THE AVERAGE AGE OF THOSE 13 WHO LOST THEIR LIVES. KATE, IT WAS JUST 22 MANY OF THEM JUST 20 YEARS OLD. MEETING. THEY WERE JUST IN FLINT INFANTS. BARELY BORN JUST AFTER 9.11 WHEN AMERICAN TROOPS FIRST ARRIVED IN AFGHANISTAN. SO SOME PERSPECTIVE THERE. PETER, THANK YOU SO MUCH. WE’RE ALSO. >> OF COURSE, KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON ANOTHER LARGE STORY TODAY WE DID SEE THE PRESIDENT BEING BRIEFED BY FEMA AND GOVERNORS. EARLIER BECAUSE OF HURRICANE IDA, ONE OF THE STRONGEST STORMS TO EVER HIT THE U.S. SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATION STILL UNDERWAY. LOUISIANA’S GOVERNOR EARLIER CALLING THE DAMAGE CATASTROPHIC. LET’S GO TO NBC’S TOM HE’S THERE FOR AN UPDATE IN NEW ORLEANS. TOM, WHAT ARE WE SEEING NOW. >> OKAY. I CAN TELL YOU THAT NEW ORLEANS AND LOUISIANA ARE HURTING RIGHT NOW AND THEY NEED HELP. THERE ARE POCKETS OF DESTRUCTION LIKE THIS. YOU SEE BEHIND ME. BUT THE REAL DAMAGE IS TO THE INFRASTRUCTURE HERE IN NEW ORLEANS, MORE THAN A MILLION PEOPLE RIGHT NOW HAVE NO POWER THROUGHOUT THE GULF COAST BECAUSE OF HURRICANE IDA. AND THEY’VE BEEN TOLD IT’S GOING TO TAKE WEEKS TO REPAIR. WE WERE JUST OUT OF GIANT ELECTRICAL TOWER, PROBABLY 10 STORIES HIGH KATE ITS COLLAPSE. IT HAS SEVERAL FEEDER LINES AND MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE THIS COULD POSSIBLY BE THE EPICENTER OF THE POWER PROBLEM IN NEW ORLEANS AND THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NOTHING LEFT OF THIS TOWER. I WAS OUT WITH SOME POWER CREWS EARLIER TODAY AS THEY WERE BEING BRIEFED AND WE WERE TOLD AND THEY WERE TOLD I SHOULD SAY I HEARD THEIR MANAGER TALKING AND SAYING IT’S GOING TO BE A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT. SO PEOPLE ARE BEING TOLD THEY’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE ANY POWER AND ELECTRICITY SEE ANY CELL PHONE SERVICE FOR POSSIBLY WEEKS STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER HERE IN NEW ORLEANS WHEN IT’S VERY HOT. WE’RE AT LA PLUS WHAT POSSIBLY COULD BE GROUND 0 FOR HURRICANE IDA. PEOPLE HAVE LOST EVERYTHING THEIR CASE. WE WERE WITH THE MOTHER. SHE HAS 7 CHILDREN AND SHE’S PREGNANT. SHE SAYS HER HOUSE WAS COMPLETELY FLOODED. SHE HAS NO MONEY, NO FOOD. SHE WAS THANKING THE GOVERNOR FOR HELP. THEY REALLY NEED HELP RIGHT NOW. IN LA PLUS, WE’RE GOING TO BE BRINGING YOU ALL THE STORIES ON NIGHTLY NEWS. AND IT’S NOT JUST AROUND THE GREATER NEW ORLEANS AREA. IT’S PLACES LIKE HOUMA AS HOSPITALS HAD TO BE EVACUATED PATIENTS BEING BROUGHT HERE TO NEW ORLEANS. WE ALSO SPOKE WITH A NURSE, A NURSE WHO STAYED WITH SEVERAL BABIES THROUGHOUT THE STORM. THEIR PARENTS HAD TO EVACUATE. SO THESE NURSES AT THE HOSPITAL STAYED WITH THESE CHILDREN AND GAVE THE PARENTS UPDATES AS THE HURRICANE WAS HITTING NEW ORLEANS, ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL STORMS TO EVER HIT THE UNITED STATES WILL HAVE A FULL WRAP-UP OF THE LATEST ON HURRICANE IDA AND WHY NEW ORLEANS RIGHT NOW TONIGHT IS HURTING SO MUCH TAPE. AND TOM, WE’RE ALSO SEEING FLOODING IN OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE EVEN SEARCH AND RESCUE AS I SENSED CONTINUING AT THIS HOUR. THAT’S RIGHT. THE WATER LEVELS ROSE. YOU KNOW, THE LEVEE SYSTEM FOR THE MOST PART, WITHSTOOD HURRICANE IDA UNLIKE WHAT HAPPENED IN KATRINA 16 YEARS AGO. BUT THE PROBLEM WAS THE STORM SURGE WAS SO HIGH IN SOME AREAS THAT SOME OF THE LEVEES WERE OVER TOP AND THE WATER CAME IN PLACES LIKE LA PLATA, PLACES LIKE GRAND ISLE THAT ARE RIGHT ON THE GULF COAST. THAT WATER JUST CAME RIGHT IN AND PEOPLE DID NEED TO BE RESCUED. A LOT OF OUR TEAM SAW THESE RESCUES AS THEY WERE HAPPENING. 1500 NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS HAVE BEEN DISPATCHED TO LOUISIANA TO HELP WITH THE PROBLEM RIGHT NOW AND WE HOPE THEY GET TO EVERY SINGLE PERSON. >> OKAY. ALL RIGHT, TOM, THANK YOU AGAIN 2 MAJOR STORIES THIS AFTERNOON. WE CAME ON THE AIR TO TELL YOU ABOUT THE END OF THE U.S. INVOLVEMENT IN AFGHANISTAN. AFTER IT’S NEARLY 20 YEARS AND AGAIN, TOM, WE’LL HAVE MUCH MORE TONIGHT WHEN HE ANCHORS A SPECIAL EDITION OF NBC NIGHTLY NEWS FROM NEW ORLEANS TALKING ABOUT THE HURRICANE THERE. FOR THE LATEST. YOU CAN ALSO HEAD TO NBC NEWS, DOT COM. >> AND MSNBC I’M KATE SNOW. >> OR A BUMBLING SANTA OPPOSITE WILL I REALIZE THAT WAS A BETTER 123,000 PEOPLE. >> CAN SAFELY FLOWN OUT OF AFGHANISTAN. THAT WAS ABOUT 6,000 AMERICAN CITIZENS. THIS HAS BEEN A MASSIVE MILITARY DIPLOMATIC AND HUMANITARIAN DIRTY. ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT DONATIONS HISTORY. AND EXTRAORDINARY FEAT OF LOGISTICS AND COORDINATION UNDER SOME OF THE MOST CHALLENGING CIRCUMSTANCES. IMAGINE. MANY, MANY PEOPLE MADE THIS POSSIBLE. I WANT TO COMMEND OUR OUTSTANDING DIPLOMAT. WHO WORKED AROUND THE CLOCK AND AROUND THE WORLD TO COORDINATE THE OPERATION. THEY VOLUNTEERED FOR DUTY IN THE THE TRANSIT COUNTRIES TO HELP PROCESS. THOUSANDS OF AFGHANS ABOUT THE UNITED STATES. THEY DEPLOYED TO PORTS OF ENTRY AN AMERICAN MILITARY BASES TO WELCOME AFGHANS TO THE NEW HOMES. THE STAFF, THE 24 7 TASK FORCE HERE IN WASHINGTON. OVERSEEN BY DEPUTY SECRETARY BY MCKEON. AND THEY DO A LIST OF AMERICANS POSSIBLY SEE LEAVE AFGHANISTAN, THEN WORK TO CONTACT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM REPEATEDLY MAKING 55,000 PHONE CALLS, SENDING 33,000 EMAILS SINCE AUGUST 14. BASED ON PROBLEM AFTER PROBLEM TO KEEP THE MISSION MOVING FORWARD. THEY DO THIS BECAUSE FOR THE THOUSANDS OF STATE DEPARTMENT AND USA ID EMPLOYEES WHO SERVED IN AFGHANISTAN IN THE PAST 20 YEARS. THIS IS AN ACCUSATION OPERATION, WAS VERY PERSONAL. MANY WORKS HAND IN HAND FOR YEARS WITH AFGHAN PARTNERS, MANY OF WHOM BECAME TRUSTED FRIENDS. WE ALSO MEMBERS OF OUR FOREIGN SERVICE COMMUNITY IN AFGHANISTAN. WE’LL NEVER FORGET. HELPING AMERICANS. OUR FOREIGN BEEN VIRUS SIDE FOR 20 YEARS AND AFGHANS AT RISK AT THIS CRITICAL MOMENT. WAS MORE THAN JUST A HIGH STAKES. AND FOR OUR TEAM. IT WAS A SACRED DUTY. AND THE WORLD SAW HOW OUR DIPLOMATS ROSE TO THE CHALLENGE WITH DETERMINATION AND US SERVICE MEMBERS AND COUPLE DIDN’T HER ROADWORK SECURING THE AIRPORT. PROTECTING CIVILIANS AND MANY NATIONALITIES INCLUDING 10’S OF THOUSANDS OF AFGHANS AND AIRLIFTING THEM THEY’RE ALSO PROVIDING VITAL SUPPORT RIGHT NOW CARING FOR AFGHANS AND MILITARY BASES IN EUROPE OR THE MIDDLE EAST. AND HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. WE’VE SEEN PICTURES OF US SERVICE MEMBERS OF THE COUPLE AIRPORT CRADLING BABIES. COMFORTING FAMILIES. THAT’S THE KIND OF COMPASSION AND COURAGE ARE MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM. EXEMPLIFY. THEY CARRIED OUT THIS MISSION UNDER THE CONSTANT THREAT OF TERRORIST VIOLENCE. IN 4 DAYS AGO. 11 MARINES. ONE AND ONE SOLDIER WERE KILLED BY SUICIDE BOMBER AT THE AIRPORT GATE AS WELL AS SCORES OF AFGHANS. NEARLY ALL OF THEM WERE IN THEIR EARLY 20’S. JUST BABIES OR TODDLERS ON SEPTEMBER 11TH 2000. THESE DEVASTATING LOSS FOR OUR COUNTRY. WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT FEEL WE HAVE A SPECIAL BOND WITH THE MARINES. THE FIRST PERSON THAT YOU SEE WHEN YOU VISIT AN AMERICAN EMBASSIES IS A MARINE. THE GUARD TO COME OUT OF MISSIONS. THEY KEEP US SAFE AROUND THE WORLD. WE COULDN’T DO OUR JOBS OUT. AND WE WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR SACRIFICE. NOR WILL WE FORGET WHAT THEY ACHIEVED. THE MOST EXCEPTIONAL AMONG US. PERFORM, A LIFETIME’S WORK AND SERVICE IN A SHORT TIME HERE ON EARTH. SO IT WAS FOR EXCEPTIONAL BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO DIED LAST WEEK. I WANT TO THANK OUR ALLIES AND PARTNERS. THIS OPERATION WAS A GLOBAL ENDEAVOR IN EVERY WAY. MANY COUNTRY STEPPED UP WITH ROBUST CONTRIBUTIONS. THE AIRLIFT INCLUDING WORKING BY OUR SIDE AT THE AIRPORT. SOME ARE NOW SERVING AS TRANSIT COUNTRIES ALLOWING EVACUEES TO BE REGISTERED AND PROCESSED ON THE WAY TO THEIR FINAL DESTINATIONS. OTHERS AGREED RESETTLE AFGHAN REFUGEES FROM THEM AND WE HOPE MORE WILL DO SO IN THE DAYS AND WEEKS AHEAD. WE’RE TRULY GRATEFUL FOR THEIR SUPPORT. US MILITARY FLIGHTS LONDON IN OUR TROOPS HAVE DEPARTED AFGHANISTAN. A NEW CHAPTER OF AMERICA’S ENGAGEMENT WITH AFGHANISTAN HAS BEGUN. IT’S ONE IN WHICH WE WILL LEAD WITH HOMES. THE MILITARY MISSIONS OVAL A NEW DIPLOMATIC MISSION HAS BEGUN. SO HERE’S OUR PLAN FOR THE DAYS AND WEEKS AHEAD. WE BUILT A NEW TEAM TO HELP BELIEVE THIS NEW MISSION. AS OF TODAY WE SUSPENDED OUR DIPLOMATIC PRESENCE IN KABUL AND TRANSFER OPERATIONS TO KNOW HOW WE WILL SOON BE FORMALLY NOTIFIED TO CONGRESS. GIVEN THE UNCERTAIN SECURITY ENVIRONMENT AND POLITICAL SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN. IT WAS THE PRUDENT STEP TO TAKE. AND LET ME TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK OUR OUTSTANDING FOR A COUPLE INVESTOR WANT WHO CAME OUT OF RETIREMENT IN JANUARY 2020 TO LEAD OUR EMBASSY IN AFGHANISTAN AND HE’S DONE EXCEPTIONAL COURAGEOUS WORK DURING A HIGHLY CHALLENGING TIME. FOR THE TIME BEING. WE WILL USE THIS POST MANAGER DIPLOMACY WITH AFGHANISTAN, INCLUDING CONSULAR AFFAIRS MISTER HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AND WORKING WITH ALLIES PARTNERS AND REGIONAL INTERNATIONAL STAKEHOLDERS TO COORDINATE OUR ENGAGEMENT AND MESSAGING TO THAT. OUR TEAM THERE WILL BE LED BY HIM AND HER WHO SERVED AS DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN THIS PAST. YOU. NO ONE IS BETTER PREPARED TO DO THE JOB. WE WILL CONTINUE OUR RELENTLESS EFFORTS TO HELP AMERICANS FOREIGN NATIONALS AND AFGHANS LEAVE AFGHANISTAN. IF THEY CHOOSE. LET ME TALK BRIEFLY ABOUT THE AMERICANS REMAIN IN AFGHANISTAN. WE MADE EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS TO GET AMERICANS EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO DEPART THE COUNTRY. IN MANY CASES TALKING AND SOMETIMES WALKING THEM INTO THE AIRPORT. OF THOSE WHO SELF IDENTIFY AS AMERICANS IN AFGHANISTAN WHO ARE CONSIDERING LEAVING THE COUNTRY. WE LOST FAR RECEIVED CONFIRMATION THAT ABOUT 6,000 AND THEN EVACUATED OR OTHERWISE DEPARTMENT. THIS NUMBER WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO GROW AS OUR OUTREACH AND ARRIVALS CONTINUE. WE BELIEVE THERE ARE STILL SMALL NUMBER OF AMERICANS UNDER 200 AND LIKELY CLOSER TO WHO REMAIN IN AFGHANISTAN AND WANT TO LEAVE. WE’RE TRYING TO DETERMINE EXACTLY HOW WE’RE GOING FROM AN OFFENSE AND CALLING AND TEXTING THROUGH OUR LIVES AND WE’LL HAVE MORE DETAILS TO SHARE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. PART OF THE CHALLENGE WITH FIXING A PRECISE IS THAT THERE ARE LONGTIME RESIDENTS IN AFGHANISTAN WHO HAVE AMERICAN PASSPORTS. AND WE’RE TRYING TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT THEY WANT TO LEAVE. MANY ARE DUAL CITIZEN AMERICANS WITH DEEP ROOTS AND EXTENDED FAMILIES IN AFGHANISTAN WHO RESIDE THERE FOR MANY YEARS. FOR IT’S A PAINFUL CHOICE. OUR COMMITMENT TO AND TO ALL AMERICANS IN AFGHANISTAN AND EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD CONTINUES. THE PROTECTION. WELL, AMERICANS ABROAD REMAINS THE STATE DEPARTMENT’S MOST AND INJURING MISSION. AMERICAN IN AFGHANISTAN TELLS US THAT THEY WANT TO STAY FOR NOW AND THEN WE OR A MONTH OR YEAR TO REACH OUT AND SAY I’VE CHANGED MY MIND. WE WILL HELP THEM LEAVE. WE WORKED INTENSELY TO EVACUATE AND WE LOOK AT AFGHANS WORKING ALONGSIDE US IN OUR PARTICULAR RISK OF REPRISAL. WE’VE GOT MANY OUT. BUT MANY ARE STILL THERE. WE WILL KEEP WORKING TO HELP THEM. OUR COMMITMENT TO THEM HAS NO DEADLINE. WE WILL HOLD THE TALIBAN TO ITS PLEDGE TO LET PEOPLE FREELY DEPART, AFGHANISTAN. THE TALIBAN IS COMMITTED TO WHAT ANYONE WITH THE PROPER DOCUMENTS LEAVE THE COUNTRY IN A SAFE AND ORDERLY MANNER. THEY SAID THIS PRIVATELY AND PUBLICLY MANY TIMES ON FRIDAY, A SENIOR TALIBAN OFFICIAL SAID IT AGAIN ON TELEVISION AND AND I WILL ANY AFGHANS MAY LEAVE THE COUNTRY, INCLUDING THOSE WHO WORK FOR AMERICANS. IF THEY WANT AND FOR WHATEVER REASON THERE MAY BE END QUOTE. HALF THE WORLD’S COUNTRIES JOINED US IN INSISTING THAT THE LET PEOPLE TRAVEL OUTSIDE AFGHANISTAN FOR YOU AS OF TODAY, MORE THAN 100 COUNTRIES HAVE SAID THAT THEY EXPECT THE TALIBAN TO HONOR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATIONS BY OUR COUNTRIES. IN JUST A FEW SHORT HOURS AGO, UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL PASSED A RESOLUTION. IT ENSHRINES THAT RESPONSIBILITY LAYING THE GROUNDWORK TO HOLD A TELETHON IF THEY’RE SO THE INTERNATIONAL COURSE ON THE AND IT WILL STAY STRONG. WE WILL HOLD THE TALIBAN TO THEIR COMMITMENT AND FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS VISA HOLDERS AT RISK AFGHANS. WE WILL WORK TO SECURE THEIR SAFE PASSAGE. THIS MORNING. I KNOW THAT THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF ALL THE G 7 COUNTRIES, UNITED FRANCE, GERMANY, CANADA, ITALY, JAPAN AS WELL AS CONNOR THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF UN. WE DISCUSSED HOW WE WORK TOGETHER TO FACILITATE SAFE TRAVEL OUT OF AFGHANISTAN, INCLUDING BY REOPENING COUPLE CIVILIAN AIRPORT. SOON AS POSSIBLE. AND WE VERY MUCH APPRECIATE THE EFFORTS OF COLOR IN TURKEY IN PARTICULAR TO MAKE THIS THIS WOULD ENABLE A SMALL NUMBER OF DAILY CHARTER FLIGHTS WHICH IS A KEY FOR ANYONE WANTS TO DEPART FROM AFGHANISTAN REPORT. WE’RE ALSO WORKING TO IDENTIFY WAYS TO SUPPORT AMERICANS. LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENTS AND AFGHANS WILL WORK WITH US YOU MAY CHOOSE TO DEPART OVERLAND ROUTES. WE HAVE NO ILLUSION THAT IN ANY OF THIS WILL BE EASY OR THIS WILL BE AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT THINGS FROM THE EVACUATION THAT JUST CONCLUDED. IT WILL TAKE TIME TO WORK THROUGH A NEW SET OF CHALLENGES. BUT WE WILL STAY AT. JOHN BASS, A FORMER AMBASSADOR AFGHANISTAN WHO RETURNED TO THE BULL 2 WEEKS AGO TO HELP LEAD OUR EVACUATION EFFORTS OF THE AIRPORT WILL SPEARHEAD OUR ONGOING WORK ACROSS THE STATE DEPARTMENT TO HELP AMERICAN CITIZENS AND PERMANENT RESIDENTS CITIZEN ALLIED NATIONS SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISA APPLICANTS AND AFGHANS. THE PIRATES. IF ANY OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO WISH TO DEPART AFGHANISTAN. WE’RE DEEPLY GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE JOHN DIDN’T COUPLE FIRST COMMUNITY AND IT CONTINUED COMMITMENT TO THIS MISSION AS WELL THE EXTRAORDINARY CONSULAR OFFICERS WHO ARE SERVING BY HIS SIDE. WE WILL STAY FOCUSED ON COUNTERTERRORISM. THE TALIBAN HAS MADE A COMMITMENT TO PREVENT TERRORIST GROUPS FROM USING AFGHANISTAN AS A BASE FOR EXTERNAL OPERATIONS THAT THROUGH THE UNITED STATES OR OUR ALLIES, INCLUDING OUT AND THE TALIBAN SWORN ISIS K. HERE TOO. WE WILL HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE TO THAT COME BUT WHAT WE HAVE EXPECTATIONS OF THE THAT DOESN’T WE WILL RELY ON THAT HOME. WE REMAIN VIGILANT IN MONITORING THREATS OR SENSE AND WILL MAINTAIN ROBUST COUNTERTERRORISM CAPABILITIES IN THE REGION TO NEUTRALIZE THE SUSPENSE OF AS WE DEMONSTRATED IN THE PAST FEW DAYS BY STRIKING ISIS FACILITATORS AND IMMINENT THREATS IN AFGHANISTAN. AND AS WE DO IN PLACES AROUND THE WORLD. WE DO NOT HAVE MILITARY FORCES ON THE GROUND. LET ME SPEAK DIRECTLY TO OUR ENGAGEMENT WITH THE TALIBAN ACROSS THESE AND OTHER ISSUES. WE NEED TO THE TALIBAN DURING THE PAST FEW WEEKS TO ENABLE OUR EVACUATION OPERATIONS. GOING FORWARD. ANY ENGAGEMENT WITH THE TALIBAN AND GOVERNMENT DOUBLE WILL BE DRIVEN BY ONE THING ONLY. VITAL NATIONAL INTERESTS. IF WE CAN WORK WITH THE NEW AFGHAN GOVERNMENT IN A WAY THAT WOULD HELP SECURE THOSE OF US. INCLUDING THE SAFE RETURN OF OUR THE U.S. CITIZEN HAS BEEN HELD HOSTAGE IN THE REGION SINCE EARLY LAST, YOU IN A WAY THAT BRINGS GREATER STABILITY TO THE COUNTRY AND REGION AND PROTECT THE GAINS OF THE PAST 2 DECADES. WE WILL DO IT TOO. BUT WE WILL NOT DO IT ON THE BASIS OF TRUST OR FAITH. EVERY STEP WE TAKE WILL BE BASED NOT ON ALABAMA GOVERNMENT SENSE, BUT WHAT IT DOES TO LIVE UP TO ITS COMMITMENTS. THE TALIBAN SEEKS INTERNATIONAL LEGITIMACY AND SUPPORT. OUR MESSAGE IS ANY WHICH IS ANY SUPPORT WILL HAVE TO THE TALIBAN CAN DO THAT. I’M EATING COMMITMENTS AND OBLIGATIONS ON FREEDOM OF RESPECTING THE BASIC RIGHTS OF THAT. THE AFGHAN PEOPLE, INCLUDING WOMEN AND MINORITIES, UPHOLDING ITS COMMITMENTS ON COUNTERS, NOT CARRYING OUT AGAINST THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO STAY IN AFGHANISTAN IN FORMING AN INCLUSIVE GOVERNMENT. THE COMMUNITY NEEDS REFLECT THE ASPIRATIONS OF THE AFGHAN PEOPLE. 6. WE WILL CONTINUE OUR HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO THE PEOPLE OF AFGHANISTAN. THE CONFLICT TAKEN A TERRIBLE TOLL ON THE AFGHAN PEOPLE. MILLIONS ARE INTERNALLY DISPLACED. MILLIONS ARE FACING HUNGER. EVEN STARVATION. THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS ALSO GET AFGHANISTAN HARM. UNITED STATES WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT HUMANITARIAN AID TO THE AFGHAN PEOPLE. CONSISTENT WITH OUR SANCTIONS ON THE TELEPHONE, THE ABLE NOT FLOW THROUGH THE GOVERNMENT BUT RATHER TO INDEPENDENT ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS UN AGENCIES AND AND WE EXPECT THAT THOSE EFFORTS WILL NOT BE IMPEDED. THE TELEPHONE OR ANYONE ELSE. AND WE WILL CONTINUE OUR BROUGHT INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY ACROSS THE HOLY ISSUES AND MANY OTHERS. WE BELIEVE WE CAN ACCOMPLISH FARM. AND ARE FAR GREATER LEVERAGE. WHEN WE WORK IN COORDINATION WITH OUR ALLIES AND PARTNERS. LAST 2 WEEKS WE’VE HAD A SERIES OF INTENSIVE DIPLOMATIC ENGAGEMENTS WITH ALLIES AND PARTNERS TO PLAN AND COORDINATE THE WAY AHEAD IN AFGHANISTAN. I’VE MET WITH THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF NATO IN THE G 7. I SPOKE ONE ON ONE WITH DOZENS OF MY COUNTERPARTS. LAST WEEK, PRESIDENT BIDEN MET WITH THE LEADERS OF THE G 7 COUNTRIES. AND IF THE SECRETARY OF STATE, WENDY SHERMAN HAS BEEN CONVENING A GROUP OF 28 ALLIES AND PARTNERS FROM ALL REGIONS OF THE WORLD. EVERY OTHER DAY. GOING FORWARD WILL COORDINATE CLOSELY WITH COUNTRIES IN THE REGION AND AROUND THE WORLD AS WELL AS WITH LEADING INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, NGO’S AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR. OUR ALLIES AND PARTNERS SHARE OUR OBJECTIVES AND ARE COMMITTED TO WORKING WITH US. I’LL HAVE MORE TO SAY ON THESE MATTERS IN THE COMING DAYS. THE MAIN POINT I WANT TO DRIVE HOME HERE TODAY IS THE AMERICANS WORK IN AFGHANISTAN CONTINUES. WE HAVE A PLAN FOR WHAT’S NEXT. WE’RE PUTTING IT INTO ACTION. THIS MOMENT ALSO DEMANDS REFLECTION. THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN WAS A 20 YEAR IN DENVER. WE MUST LEARN ITS LESSONS AND ALLOW THOSE LESSONS TO SHAPE HOW WE THINK ABOUT FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY. WE’LL LEAD TO FUTURE DIPLOMATS POLICYMAKERS MILITARY LEADERS SERVICE MEMBERS. WE OWE THAT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. BUT AS WE DO, WE WILL REMAIN RELENTLESSLY FOCUS ON AND ON THE FUTURE. WE’LL MAKE SURE WE’RE FINDING EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE GOOD ON OUR COMMITMENT TO THE AFGHAN PEOPLE, INCLUDING BY WELCOMING 1000 INTO OUR COMMUNITIES AS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE DONE MANY TIMES BEFORE. WITH GENEROSITY AND GRACE THROUGHOUT OUR HISTORY. IN THIS WAY WILL HONOR ALL THOSE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN, UNITED STATES AND MANY OTHER COUNTRIES. WHO WRISTER SACRIFICE THEIR LIVES AS PART OF THIS LONG MISSION RIGHT UP TO TODAY. >> IRAN >> ON ALL SMART. YOU’RE WATCHING NBC NEWS. NOW. HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING. AMERICA’S LONGEST WAR NOW OVER EVERY SINGLE US SERVICE MEMBER IS OUT OF AFGHANISTAN. WHAT ELSE THE PENTAGON IS SAYING ABOUT THEIR DEPARTURE. CHICAGO STUDENTS BACK AT SCHOOL TODAY,
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Secy. of State Blinken Holds Briefing on Afghanistan Withdrawal | NBC News

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