As chaos, fear and uncertainty rule in Afghanistan, up to 40,000 Americans remain stranded there.
That is a huge problem and one that the U.S. Defense Department is trying to solve.
On Tuesday, the military said their goal is to fly 5,000 people out of Kabul per day, and while that sounds good, the facts are that only 1,400 people have been evacuated in the past three days.
The 40,000 Americans stuck in the crumbling country are scattered throughout the entire nation, many in very remote and mountainous regions, and many of them are in hiding, fearing for their life if the Taliban were to discover them.
The Taliban is in firm control, and ruthlessly marching throughout the country. They have set up access points on every road in and out of the city, and they have commandeered the roads leading to the airport, which means American and NATO troops can’t easily move around.
The U.S. government enlisted the help of Afghan nationals for the past 20 years, and their lives are 100% in jeopardy. They face a terrible conflict where they are terrified, and can’t present themselves at the airport because the Taliban would most likely kill them.
In Kabul alone, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said there were 11,000 Americans, including translators, contractors, journalists, government and aid workers.
Reports out of Kabul Tuesday paint a calmer situation at the airport then on Monday, when hundreds of Afghans desperately tried to latch themselves on to airplanes, and 11 people died trying to escape.
The Taliban has agreed to a “two week grace period.” In theory, that would be in place to allow foreigners to get out, but few people knowledgeable about the Taliban expects that to last a full 14 days.